Healthy lifestyle concept with food on heart and stethoscope

The most common risk factors for heart disease are:

  • Being overweight
  • Poor diet
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Family history of heart disease
  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco use

Many of these risk factors can be avoided. Others, such as family history, cannot be changed. You can help protect yourself by staying away from known risk factors whenever possible. As a result, you can have a healthier lifestyle.

If you think you may be at risk for heart disease, you should discuss this concern with your doctor. You may want to ask about reducing your risk and about a schedule for checkups. Also make sure to discuss ways to prevent heart disease with your doctor. You may need to be referred to a cardiologist at Ephraim McDowell Heart & Vascular Institute.

Reduce your risk factors

It’s important to know if you have a family history for heart disease. Here are a few ways you can try to prevent heart disease:

  • Get plenty of exercise (always talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise routine).
  • Eat a heart-healthy diet low in fat, with lots of lean protein and vegetables.
  • Don’t smoke.
  • Drink alcohol in moderation.
  • Keep your blood pressure and cholesterol at healthy levels.

You can start a healthy exercise routine or work with a nutrition consultant by visiting our McDowell Wellness Center.