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Heart Disease can lead to heart break

In America, the leading cause of death for men and women is heart disease. Heart disease can refer to a number of different heart conditions such as coronary artery disease and heart attacks.

There are three key disease risk factors that can increase your risk of heart disease. Shockingly almost half of all Americans (47%) have at least one of these key factors:

1. High blood pressure: This occurs when the pressure of the blood in your arteries and other blood vessels is too high. The high pressure, if not controlled, can affect your heart and other major organs of your body, including your kidneys and brain.

2. High cholesterol: Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance made by the liver or found in certain foods. Extra cholesterol can build up in the walls of the arteries, including those of the heart. This leads to narrowing of the arteries and can decrease the blood flow to the heart, brain, kidneys, and other parts of the body.

3. Smoking: Cigarette smoking can damage the heart and blood vessels, which increases your risk for heart conditions. Nicotine raises blood pressure, and carbon monoxide reduces the amount of oxygen that your blood can carry.

While other factors such as age and family history are beyond your control, there are things you can do to lower your risk of heart disease. By getting daily exercise, making an effort to eat healthy, quitting smoking, and limiting your alcohol intake to one drink per day, you can help lower your risk of heart disease.

Content source: National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion , Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention

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