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American Health Month: The Risks for Heart Disease

By Dian Brannen, 12:25 am on

Heart disease is one of the biggest killers around the globe, and it is becoming even more prevalent in developed nations where people are leading more sedentary lifestyles. In honor of the American Heart Association’s campaign to raise awareness about heart disease, Home Care Assistance of the Lehigh Valley wanted to share some of the condition’s risks so that seniors and older adults can take a hold of controllable factors for an enhanced quality of life.

Understanding Heart Disease Risks

Many components that increase the likelihood of heart disease are present at birth. Males are more apt than females to suffer from the condition, and African Americans, Mexican Americans and American Indians have a higher possibility of developing cardiac disease than Caucasians. Family history is also a strong indicator of risk, and the hormonal changes that come with age make people more likely to suffer from cardiovascular problems. When seniors are at higher risk of heart disease because of factors that they cannot control, it is even more important for them to practice healthy habits that can help them avoid cardiac disease.

Controllable Factors

People who practice healthy habits and who exercise regularly tend to lower their chances of developing heart disease. Some lifestyle choices that contribute to the onset of cardiovascular disease are as follows:

  • Poorly managed diabetes causes heart and blood vessel damage.
  • Smoking increases blood pressure, narrows the arteries and releases cell-harming oxidants into the blood stream.
  • Obesity increases the risk of fat deposits in the arteries and overworks the heart muscle.
  • High levels of bad cholesterol accumulate in the vessels and cause blockages that result in heart attacks and strokes.
  • Physical inactivity weakens the heart muscle.
  • Stress and anger that is not kept under control releases damaging hormones into the blood stream.

Recognizing the presence of harmful habits is the first step in gaining control of risk factors. If your aging parent or loved one needs help managing their daily activities and heart-healthy habits, a professional home caregiver can gradually help to incorporate healthy changes into his or her lifestyle.

For more information about heart-healthy living or to request a complimentary, no-obligation consultation with a friendly Care Manager, reach out to Home Care Assistance of the Lehigh Valley today. We are proud to be one of the top Lehigh Valley home care agencies, offering flexible hourly and live-in care and 24/7 availability. Call us at 484-350-3874 – we look forward to hearing from you.