Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. Every year, 1 in 4 deaths are caused by heart disease. The good news? Heart disease can often be prevented when people make healthy choices and manage their health conditions. Communities, health professionals and families can work together to create opportunities for people to make healthier choices.

To help prevent heart disease, you can:

  • Eat healthy.
  • Get active.
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Quit smoking and avoid secondhand smoke
  • Control your cholesterol and blood pressure
  • Consume alcohol only in moderation.
  • Manage stress

Am I at risk for heart disease?

Though everyone is at risk for heart disease, you are at higher risk for heart disease if you:

  • Have high cholesterol or high blood pressure
  • Smoke
  • Are overweight
  • Don’t get enough physical activity
  • Don’t have a healthy diet

Your age and family history also affect your risk for heart disease. Your risk is higher if:

  • You are a woman over age 55
  • You are a man over age 45
  • Your father or brother had heart disease before age 55
  • Your mother or sister had heart disease before age 65

But the good news is there’s a lot you can do to prevent heart disease.

Take Action!

Take steps today to lower your risk for heart disease.

Control your cholesterol and blood pressure.

High cholesterol and high blood pressure can cause heart disease and heart attack. If your cholesterol or blood pressure numbers are high, speak to your physician about what you can do to lower them. 

Ask your doctor about taking aspirin every day.

If you are between 50 to 59 years of age, taking aspirin every day can lower your risk of heart attack and stroke – but it’s not recommended for everyone.  Speak with your doctor to find out if taking aspirin is the right choice for you.

Talk to your doctor about taking medicine to lower your risk of heart attack and stroke. 

Experts recommend that some people between the age of 40 and 75 take medicines called statins if they are at high risk for heart attack and stroke. Use these questions to speak with your doctor about statins.

Eat healthy.

Eating healthy can help lower your risk of heart disease. A heart-healthy diet includes foods that are low in saturated and trans-fats, added sugars, and sodium (salt).

Heart-healthy items include high-fiber foods (whole grains, fruits, and vegetables) and certain fats (like the fats in olive oil and fish).

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