Heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women, according to the CDC. It is therefore not surprising that each week, experts publish new research linking a behavior or environmental factor to heart disease.
Recent studies have established a link between noise exposure and influenza viruses. And last week, a new study found that taking omega-3 supplements does not protect people with heart disease – a finding that contradicts previous research.
Faced with so much confusing and conflicting information, it can be difficult for health-conscious people to determine which factors and behaviors actually reduce their risk of heart disease. Making the right choices may seem like a struggle.
"First and foremost, it is essential to be aware of family risks and a history of heart disease, especially early heart disease," says Laurence Sperling, MD, professor of medicine. and Director of Emory University's Center for Heart Disease Prevention
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Though Heart Disease is So Common That They hit every family, cases of heart disease occur According to Sperling, a child under 50 in men or 60 in women may indicate a genetic predisposition underlying heart problems: "For most people, Heart disease risk comes from a mix of genes and the environment. and behavior, "he explains. "But some people get a very high dose of risk from their genes."
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If you know your parents, grandparents, or loved ones have suffered heart disease at a young age, your doctor must know. He or she can order specific gene or blood tests that may reveal that you have a high risk of heart problems. In some cases, a very healthy lifestyle may not be enough to protect your heart. "These people may need drugs – a daily aspirin or statins – to reduce their risk," says Sperling.
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So, First Step If You Are Concerned About Heart Disease: Know Your Family History and Tell Your Doctor If You Have Parents Who Have had heart problems at a young age.
Assuming you took this precaution, what else can you do to lower your risk? A lot. A large-scale study conducted in 2016 in the New England Journal of Medicine found that even in patients with a high hereditary risk of heart disease, good lifestyle choices could reduce this risk by approximately 50%
. Here are six tips supported by substantial and consistent scientific evidence.