Heart disease doesn’t happen just to older adults. It is happening to younger adults more and more often. This is partly because the conditions that lead to heart disease are happening at younger ages. February is Heart Month, the perfect time to learn about your risk for heart disease and the steps you need to take now to help your heart.
Heart disease—and the conditions that lead to it—can happen at any age. High rates of obesity and high blood pressure among younger people (ages 35-64) are putting them at risk for heart disease earlier in life. Half of all Americans have at least one of the top three risk factors for heart disease (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking).
Many of the conditions and behaviors that put people at risk for heart disease are appearing at younger ages:
Other conditions and behaviors that affect your risk for heart disease include:
You’re in the driver’s seat when it comes to your heart. Learn how to be heart healthy at any age.
Don’t smoke. Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you do smoke, learn how to quit.
Manage conditions. Work with your health care team to manage conditions such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. This includes taking any medicines you have been prescribed. Learn more about preventing and managing high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Make heart-healthy eating changes. Eat food low in trans-fat, saturated fat, added sugar and sodium. Try to fill at least half your plate with vegetables and fruits, and aim for low sodium options. Learn more about how to reduce sodium.
Stay active. Get moving for at least 150 minutes per week. You can even break up the 30 minutes into 10-minute blocks. Learn more about how to get enough physical activity.