Addressing Genetic And Lifestyle Risks For Cardiovascular Disease

21 January 2019
 Categories: Health & Medical , Blog


Since cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women, everyone should assess their genetic and lifestyle risk factors. Knowing how to mitigate these risks can have the biggest impact on your cardiovascular health.

Discuss Screenings

Since you cannot change your genetics, the best you can do is talk with your doctor about any screenings that might be helpful if you have a family history of heart disease. Generally, doctors are especially concerned if you have relatives, regardless of their sex, that had a heart attack unusually early. Your doctor may want you to be more vigilant about annual physicals, which include blood tests, to identify chronic diseases when they are in the earlier stages. If you are at a high risk for cardiovascular disease and have any concerning symptoms, it is even more important you speak with your doctor promptly for further testing.

Reduce Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic syndrome occur when several chronic diseases, combined with central obesity, occurs in the same person. Chronic diseases can include diabetes (or insulin resistance), high cholesterol, and hypertension. Since all these issues significantly increase your risk of cardiovascular disease, it is imperative to make lifestyle changes to mitigate your risk. There are general guidelines regarding what foods to eat for a healthier heart. A good reference is to look at cultures that historically have lower rates of cardiovascular disease. Many of these cultures rely on fish, nuts, and seeds for their healthy fats. They also eat a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. There is little in the way of desserts, frying, or processed foods. Simply changing your diet will not only help you lose excess pounds, but will improve the chronic diseases you have.

Build A Stronger Heart

All types of physical activities have their benefits, including weight-training. If you have any risk factors, talking with your doctor before engaging in an exercise routine can reduce your chances of a catastrophic problem. Some people may not be healthy enough to begin an exercise regimen. Your doctor may want a stress test to determine if you have any issues with oxygenation or heart arrhythmia during exercise. In the beginning, focus on exercises you can do to build stamina, such as walking or jogging. These exercises improve cardiovascular fitness because the heart eventually pumps more efficiently and your lung capacity improves. To further challenge yourself, do your walking or jogging with a weighted vest. If you have lost weight, adding that amount of weight to your vest can be a motivation because it serves as a reminder of how much extra weight you used to carry around.

Your risk of developing cardiovascular disease is complex, but there are ways you can keep your risk to a minimum. Discussing genetic predispositions with your doctor and consistently improving your lifestyle is the best way to improve cardiovascular health.