Factors that cannot be changed:
- Heredity - cannot change your genetic background.
- Sex - women have lower incidents of heart attack.
- Race - African Americans have a 45 percent greater chance of high blood pressure.
- Age - risks increase with age, however, one in four deaths occur under age 65.
Factors that can be changed:
- Smoking one pack of cigarettes a day increases heart attack rate by two times over a non-smoker and stroke rate by five times over a non-smoker.
- Hypertension - (high blood pressure) is a major risk factor but with no specific symptoms. One in three adults or 58,000 Americans have high blood pressure controlled by diet, exercise and medications.
- Diet - high fat, high cholesterol foods cause plaque to collect on artery walls constricting blood flow.
- Obesity - obese middle aged men have a three times greater risk of heart attack.
- Lack of exercise - regular aerobics exercise at least three times a week reduces your risk factors for heart attack and stroke.
- Stress - A Type A personality, with a sense of urgency, drive and competitiveness, has a greater risk.