What are the risk factors for heart disease and strokes?
Both heart disease and strokes are related inasmuch as both are diseases of small to medium sized blood vessels. With most forms of heart disease the coronary arteries that supply the heart muscle are narrowed. With most forms of “stroke” it is the small and medium sized blood vessels to the brain that are similarly affected. These vessels become clogged with plaque and don’t allow blood to flow freely and carry oxygen to these vital organs. We know that there are certain risk factors—some of them we can manage while others are beyond our control. We’ll start with those factors that you can’t modify or control: ·Advancing age—83% of people who die of coronary artery disease are over 65. ·Gender—women are at lower risk than men. You picked the right gender! ·Family history—if you have a strong family history of cardiovascular disease—first degree relatives (parents or siblings) who were younger than 50 when they were diagnosed—your risk is increased ·Race—African Americans have a higher