The following questions will help you identify risk factors for heart disease:
- Have you had a heart attack, stroke or any condition that causes reduced blood circulation to the heart or other organs?
- Did a close relative (parent, grandparent, brother, sister, aunt or uncle) ever have a heart attack or die suddenly at an early age? (Early age for heart disease is younger than age 55 for men, and age 65 for women)
- Has a physician ever told you that you have diabetes or high blood sugar?
- Has a physician ever told you that you have high blood pressure, or do you take medication for high blood pressure?
- Do you currently smoke cigarettes?
- Do you frequently eat foods that are high in fat?
- Is your total cholesterol score over 200?
- Do you accumulate less than 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most days? (moderate activity includes leisure-time activities such as walking or bicycling, as well as home activities like gardening or raking leaves).
- Do you frequently feel stressed or have trouble coping?
- Do you weigh more than you should for your height?
If you answered "yes" to two or more questions, you have risk factors that may contribute to an increased risk of heart and blood vessel disease. No single risk factor is the cause of heart disease. However, the more risk factors you have, the greater your chance becomes for developing heart disease. You cannot change some risk factors, but for those that you can change, it is important that you do so.
*Based on information from the American Heart Association.