There are some risk factors for heart disease that you can’t change. You may inherit your family history and predisposition for cardiovascular disease. As you age, your risk for heart disease grows. For men, the risk for heart disease increases at about age 45. For women, risk grows a bit later, typically with menopause.
Fortunately, there are risk factors that you can impact by living a healthy lifestyle and by working with your healthcare team to develop a plan that includes, for example, monitoring your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Learn more about the risk factors you CAN control here.
The risk of cardiovascular disease increases as you age. For men, the risk starts to climb at about age 45, when 10 out of every 1,000 men develop signs of heart disease. By age 55, the risk has doubled to about 21 out every 1,000 men. It continues to rise until, by age 85, about 74 out of every 1,000 men have cardiovascular disease. For women, the risk of cardiovascular disease also climbs with age, but the trend begins about 10 years later than in men and especially with the onset of menopause.
Men are more likely to develop cardiovascular disease than women, but that difference begins to disappear after women go through menopause. In fact, it’s very important to realize that women develop heart disease and suffer heart attacks, too – just like men. In fact, cardiovascular disease is the number-one killer of women in the United States, just as it is for men.
Family History of Heart Disease
Your risk of heart disease is approximately doubled if a parent or a brother or sister developed heart disease early in life (before age 55 for men, and age 65 for women).
While no one can control the risks associated with family history, age or gender, there are many risk factors you do have some control over. And the more risk factors you can eliminate or reduce, the better your chances of preventing and controlling cardiovascular disease. Click here to learn about Heart Disease Risk Factors You Can Control.