You and Your Heart
Richard Valuck, M.D.,
Cardiologist, Hannibal Regional Medical Group
Your heart is a muscle which is about the size of your fist. It pumps oxygen-rich blood to the different parts of your body. Most people only think about their heart when something goes wrong. It is important to remember that heart disease remains the number one killer in the country. Therefore, knowing your risk factors and taking action could help you decrease your chance of developing heart disease in the first place. Take a minute to assess your risk factors below.
YES NO High Blood Cholesterol
O O I often eat foods high in fat or high in cholesterol such as butter, oil, fried foods, and
O O My doctor told me I have high cholesterol.
O O My total cholesterol is 200mg/dL or higher, my HDL (good cholesterol)
is less than 40 OR I don’t know my cholesterol levels.
O O I eat a lot of processed and fast foods.
High Blood Pressure
O O My blood pressure is above 120/80, OR a health professional has said my blood pressure is high, OR I don’t know my blood pressure.
O O I eat a lot of salty foods and processed convenience foods.
O O I am overweight.
O O I exercise less than 30 minutes some days OR I don’t exercise.
O O I am a cigarette, pipe, or cigar smoker.
O O I live or work with people who smoke regularly.
O O I quit smoking but got back into the habit.
O O I have little motivation to quit smoking.
Other Risk Factors
O O I have diabetes or a family history of diabetes.
O O I am not physically active.
O O I don’t do anything regularly to relieve stress.
O O I’m a woman on birth control pills who smokes.
O O I am a man over 45 years old OR I am a woman over 55 years old.
O O My father or brother had a heart attack before age 55; OR my mother or sister had one before age 65.
The more times you answered “yes” to the above, the greater your chance of developing heart disease. Learn about your heart and your risk factors and talk to your healthcare provider about them. It might just save your life!