Do you know your risk for heart disease (CAD)?
Women are the family doctors. They tend to be responsible for health of their family. To take care of the family’s health, it is pertinent that we understand the basics.
What is Coronary artery disease (CAD)?
CAD is when arteries supplying the heart get blocked with fat and cholesterol. This leads to decreased to no blood supply to heart muscle causing the muscle to die, leading to heart attack. This can cause
permanent damage to the heart and thus poor functioning of the heart.
Who is at risk for CAD?
Age: Risk of heart disease goes up in women after age 55 and in men after age 45.
Weight: BMI more than 25 is considered overweight and more than 30 is obese. Weight more than your ideal weight increases the risk of CAD.BMI is a measure of your weight in relation to your height.
Waist Circumference: It measures the fat in the belly. For women waist circumference more than 35 inches and for men waist circumference more than 40 inches increases the risk of heart attack.
Family History: If your father or brother had a heart attack before age 55 or if your mother or sister had a heart attack before age 65,it increases your risk for heart attack.
Genetics: Indian men can have narrow coronary arteries that can easily be blocked, increasing their risk of heart attack.
High Blood Pressure: untreated or uncontrolled high B.P increases your risk. Ideal B.P is 120/80.B.P consistently higher than 130/90 is considered high B.P.
High Cholesterol: High LDL >130mg/dl (bad cholesterol) Low HDL<40mg/dl (good cholesterol) or high triglycerides>150mg/dl (fat in the body) increases the risk too.
Diabetes: Having diabetes, especially uncontrolled diabetes increases the risk of heart attack. Keep your fasting blood sugar less than 110mg/dl.
Smoking: Increases the risk of heart disease.