Risk Factors You Can't Change
As with most serious health conditions, heart disease is rarely the product of a single event or factor. Heart disease has long been the focus of intense medical study, contributing to the knowledge about the many illnesses and conditions that can contribute to its development. Some risk factors are yours for life — risks associated with your age, sex, race, and genetic inheritance — so you have to construct your healthy life plan with the idea that those risks will always be present.
Acknowledge the Odds
The key risk factors for developing heart disease that cannot be controlled are few. Women face the following unchangeable risks for developing heart disease:
Gender. You can't do a thing about your gender. When it comes to heart disease, being a woman has its advantages when you are younger. But those advantages evaporate after menopause, and you begin to have the same risks as your male counterparts.
Growing older. The older you get, the greater your risk for developing heart disease. Four out of five people who die of heart disease are sixty-five or older. And the older women are when they suffer a heart attack, the more likely they are to die of it.
Heredity. If your parents had heart disease, you're more likely to develop it. Sometimes it is because of a propensity to high cholesterol levels. Race-associated conditions can have an impact on heart disease risk, as well. African Americans, Mexican Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans, and native Hawaiians have a higher risk for developing the disease.
Personal history. If you have already had a heart attack or been diagnosed with heart disease, then your risk is higher than that of other women your age. While you can't change your history, you can be aware of it when you are making health and lifestyle decisions.
Having these unchangeable risk factors doesn't mean you're destined to suffer from heart disease. Consider it a word to the wise if you are aware of fixed risk factors, and then concentrate on the ones that you can influence. Tendency is not destiny, and there are plenty of things you can do to minimize the dangers to your health.