Heart disease risk factors

Posted by Dr. Robert Kelly


a big cholesterol filled fry
Image credit: Steven Kay | Flickr


Heart disease and stroke are more often encountered among people with family history of same, smokers, people with high blood pressure, diabetes, poor diet, overweight, high cholesterol.

There is an increased risk for developing heart disease with sleep apnoea, depression, autoimmune disease, inflammatory conditions like arthritis; In terms of stroke risk an irregular heart beat (atrial fibrillation) can increase risk.

Lifestyle choices

Most of these conditions occur because of our lifestyle choices. If we control weight, diet, exercise, mood /stress and mental health then there is a better chance that we will not develop heart disease. In fact if we can stay well to age of 70 years there is an excellent chance of making it to a century.

People who do more in this way are also more resilient and in general have a greater capacity to deal with illness. In addition cardiology has moved forward with great technology, medicines and treatments that can control these once fatal conditions and give patients great quality of life.

However, like any illness or life choice it is up to you the patient to make healthier choices: stop smoking it’s bad for you and will cause illness and possible death; same with bad diet; lack of exercise, even stress.

Regular checkups

Seek help…go talk to someone, a doctor preferably. Get checked out if you have a family history or if you are worried about your risk of heart disease. We can do calcium scans that detect risk for heart disease and treat that; we can monitor heart rhythm, blood pressure to detect and prevent stroke risk

So consider the importance of health, your health, your choice to be healthier and how you are going to work on it and do something positive about it…