Understanding Heart Disease: Three Key Risk Factors

According to research from the CDC, heart disease accounts for about 25% of all deaths in the United States each year, making it the foremost cause of death for Americans. Here are the three most important risk factors for developing heart disease, what to watch out for, and how to nip them in the bud.

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, occurs when your blood pushes too forcefully against the walls of your arteries. Over time, this increased pressure can cause damage to your heart and potentially lead to a heart attack. Hypertension on its own often has no symptoms, so it’s important to get your blood pressure checked regularly. If you’re concerned about your blood pressure, seek hypertension treatment Houston TX, or in your local community, to learn more and get the support you need to bring your blood pressure under control.

High Cholesterol

Although your body does need a certain amount of cholesterol to function, too much can be dangerous. When excess cholesterol is present in your bloodstream, it can build up as fatty deposits on the walls of your arteries, constricting them and decreasing the flow of blood to your heart and brain. As with hypertension, there are no symptoms of high cholesterol – but fortunately, it’s easy to keep your cholesterol levels in a healthy range by eating well and exercising regularly.


Smoking increases your risk for developing high blood pressure and high cholesterol, so it makes sense that it is the third key risk factor for developing heart disease. Smoking is terrible for your health for a whole host of reasons, and there’s a really easy way to eliminate this risk factor: don’t smoke! If you’re already a smoker, however, you can still diminish your risk by stopping immediately. There are many resources for quitting smoking – find a plan that works for you, and finally quit for good!

Understanding these three most important risk factors for heart disease, kicking bad habits, and establishing heart-healthy behaviors now will help ensure you keep your heart pumping perfectly for years to come!