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RISK FACTORS

  • High LDL Cholesterol

  • Low HDL Cholesterol

  • High Blood Pressure

  • Family History

  • Diabetes

  • Smoking

  • Obesity

  • Post-menopause for women

  • Age greater than 45 for men

Cardiovascular Disease //

WHAT IS CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE?

Cardiovascular disease is a group of diseases that involve the heart, the blood vessels (arteries, capillaries, and veins) or both. Heart Disease, often referred to as Coronary Heart Disease or Coronary Artery Disease, is the leading cause of death in New Jersey.

According to the National Heart, Blood and Lung institute, Coronary Heart Disease is a disease in which a waxy substance called plaque (plak) builds up inside the coronary arteries, a condition called Atherosclerosis.  Atherosclerosis can affect any artery in the body such as the brain, heart, legs, kidneys, and arms. The plaque narrows the coronary arteries and decreases blood flow to your heart muscle. In addition, plaque buildup also makes it more likely that blood clots will form in your arteries. Blood clots also can block or partially block blood flow. If blood flow to your heart muscle is reduced or blocked, you may have angina or a heart attack.

Information & Prevention //

Coronary Heart Disease can be prevented through regular healthy eating and exercise, stopping tobacco use (smoking) and reducing alcohol consumption. You must also reduce your intake of salt and fats in your diet.

HYPERTENSION 
High blood pressure is a serious condition that can lead to coronary heart disease, heart failure, stroke, kidney failure, vision loss, angina, fluid in lungs, and peripheral artery disease.

WHAT IS BLOOD PRESSURE?
“Blood pressure” is the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps blood. If this pressure rises and stays high over time, it can damage the body in many ways, including weakening and damaging one’s arteries.

How to Read Your Blood Pressure Numbers

Blood pressure is typically recorded as two numbers, written as a ratio:   117/76. Read as “117 over 76 millimeters of mercury”

  • SystolicThe top number, which is also the higher of the two numbers, measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats (when the heart muscle contracts).

  • Diastolic-The bottom number, which is also the lower of the two numbers, measures the pressure in the arteries between heartbeats (when the heart muscle is resting between beats and refilling with blood)

 

Which number is more important, top (systolic) or bottom (diastolic)?

  • Typically, more attention is given to the top number (the systolic blood pressure) as a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease for people over 50 years old. In most people, systolic blood pressure increases consistently with age due to increasing stiffness of large arteries, long-term build-up of plaque, and an increased incidence of cardiac and vascular disease

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RISK FACTORS FOR HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE

  • Age

  • Heredity or Family History

  • Gender

  • Overweight or Obesity

  • Lack of Physical Activity

  • Existing Conditions such as:

  • Diabetes

  • High Cholesterol

  • Tobacco Use or Smoking

  • Preventive Measures 

  • Regular Exercise

  • Following a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight

  • Reducing Salt

  • Avoiding smoking and tobacco use

  • Limit consumption of alcohol

  • Take medication regularly as instructed by your physician

  • All information and images taken from the American Heart Association. Updated June 2015.

PREVENTATIVE MEASURES

  • Regular Exercise

  • Following a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight

  • Reducing Salt

  • Avoiding smoking and tobacco use

  • Limit consumption of alcohol

  • Take medication regularly as instructed by your physician

All information and images taken from the American Heart Association. Updated January, 2017.

BLOOD PRESSURE CATEGORIES, AS DEFINED BY THE AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION