Heart Disease includes a number of conditions, many of which are caused by atherosclerosis, when plaque builds up in the arteries and makes it difficult for blood to flow through.
The most common type of heart disease is coronary artery disease, also known as coronary heart disease, but there are many other conditions that affect the heart.
Preventing and Managing Heart Disease
- Know your numbers. Learn more about knowing and managing your blood pressure.
- Manage your cholesterol levels. For more information, visit the American Heart Association's Control Your Cholesterol.
- Get active and eat healthy meals to maintain a healthy weight.
- Don't use commercial tobacco. Visit the Minnesota QUITPLAN or call 1-888-354-PLAN for tools and support to quit tobacco.
Self-Management and Measurement
Monitoring your blood pressure and cholesterol is key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and can be done at home. For more information on self-measuring, visit the Million Hearts website. The American Heart Assocation has tools for personal online tracking through their Check. Change. Control. program.
Healthcare and Medication: Taking Medication Correctly
If you take medication for high cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes, it is important to follow the instructions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
There are some risk factors of heart disease that cannot be changed.
Age: About 4 out of 5 heart disease deaths are in people older than 65 years of age.
Sex: Heart disease is more prevalent in men than in women, and men are at greater risk before age 65.
Race/Ethnicity: African Americans die from heart disease at a 30% higher rate than whites, but American Indians, Asians, and Hispanics all die of heart disease at lower rates than whites.
Family History: Heart disease risk is increased for individuals with family members who have heart disease due to not only genetic inheritance, but also the sharing of cultural, environmental, and lifestyle factors within families.