Get Heart Smart

Viviana Navas, MD – Cleveland Clinic Florida Cardiologist

February 2, 2018

Your heart is your body’s engine, and it deserves to be taken care of.  Many people don’t realize that they are not living a healthy heart life. Learning the risks of heart disease can help you be your own heart health advocate.  


Q: What are the risk factors for heart disease?

A: There are many risk factors that contribute to the development of heart disease.  It’s important to know that some risk factors, called “non-modifiable risk factors,” cannot be changed, but some risk factors, called “modifiable risk factors,” can be controlled or treated.  The more risk factors you have, the greater your chance of developing heart disease.


Q: What are modifiable risk factors?

Hypertension plays a significant role in heart attacks. It can be prevented and successfully treated, but only if you have it diagnosed and stick to your recommended management plan.

Abnormal blood lipid levels...that is, high total cholesterol, high levels of triglycerides, high levels of low-density lipoprotein or low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol all increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Tobacco use increases risk of heart disease.  Stopping tobacco use can reduce your risk of heart disease significantly, no matter how long you have smoked.

Physical inactivity increases the risk of heart disease and stroke by 50%.  People who don’t exercise regularly are 1.5 times more likely to develop heart disease.

Obesity or being overweight, especially if a lot of weight is located in your waist area, increases your risk for health problems, including high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, high triglycerides, diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

Type II diabetes is a major risk factor for coronary heart disease and stroke. Having diabetes makes you twice as likely as someone who does not, to develop heart disease.


Q: What can you do to improve your heart health?

A: Know the risk factors and change your lifestyle to prevent your modifiable risk factors from compromising your heart health.


It's 'Love Your Heart' Month with LITE FM & Cleveland Clinic Florida! There are several easy-to follow diet and lifestyle changes that you can adapt to help significantly reduce your risk of heart disease. Get heart smart! 

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