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Risk Factors

Do you know your risk for heart disease? Learn what increases our cardiovascular risk and how we can reduce or control risk factors that we may have.

  • How much can habitual physical activity decrease risk for acute cardiac events?

  • Risk for triggering an acute cardiac event after episodic physical activity can decrease from 30-45% for each type of habitual physical activity per week. This means that adding just 2-3 types of physical activity each week can help to greatly decrease and even eliminate the increased risk for cardiac events after episodic activity.
  • How many men suffer from erectile dysfunction?
  • It is estimated that 18 million men in the United States experience erectile dysfunction. Major risk factors for erectile dysfunction include diabetes, smoking, drug and alcohol abuse, overweight, depression, stress, heart disease and certain medical treatments.
  • How much sleep is recommended each night for adults?

  • Although there is no magic number that is right for everyone, most adults require 7-9 hours of sleep each night. However, everyone is different. Some adults may need 7 hours of sleep each night to feel alert the next day, while others may require 9 hours to feel well-rested and awake.
  • How much exercise do patients with type 2 diabetes need to promote better health?

  • Studies have shown that patients with type 2 diabetes exercising for at least 150 minutes a week see the greatest health benefits, like blood sugar reduction. Patients with type 2 diabetes engaging in less than 150 minutes of exercise a week are still likely to experience blood sugar reductions and health benefits, but not as much as those exercising 150 minutes a week or more.

  • How much exercise is recommended for adults over the age of 65?

  • It is recommended that adults over 65 get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week, such as brisk walking, to achieve important health benefits. Each adult should check with his/her care team for an activity plan that is best for him/her.
  • How is oral health associated with heart health?
  • Although the exact link is unknown, experts believe that those with gum disease have increased bacteria in the mouth that can cause chronic inflammation — a condition that can lead to heart disease, heart attack and stroke.
  • How is pre-diabetes diagnosed?

  • Pre-diabetes can be diagnosed through two types of testing: oral glucose tolerance testing and/or fasting glucose testing. Both can help identify if a patient has an impaired fasting glucose or impaired glucose tolerance.
  • How is risk affected when there is a family history of stroke?

  • Research suggests that risk for heart attack is more likely to be inherited than risk for stroke. Although risk for stroke did increase in some with family history of stroke, this association was not technically significant in this study.
  • How long do most patients survive with congenital heart disease?

  • Severity can vary greatly among the various types of congenital heart disease. Although some conditions can be very serious, causing death within the first year of life, there are a number of types of congenital heart disease that may never cause health problems, allowing patients to have normal physical activity and a typical life span.
  • What risk factors are associated with angina?
  • What risk factors are associated with the development of an aortic aneurysm?
  • Are aortic aneurysms hereditary?
  • Is my valve bicuspid (meaning it has two leaflets)? If so, how does this predispose me to aortic stenosis?
  • How does diabetes lead to atherosclerosis?
  • How does atherosclerosis of my carotid arteries predispose me to stroke? Transient ischemic attacks (TIAs)?
  • How does smoking impact my risk of developing atherosclerosis?
  • Could a heart attack have caused my cardiomyopathy? If so, how should this be evaluated?
  • What are the risk factors for deep vein thrombosis?
  • I've had a deep vein thrombosis, should I be screened for cancer?
  • Is deep vein thrombosis hereditary?
  • If I've had a deep vein thrombosis, should I be screened for any blood-clotting disorders?
  • What risk factors predisposed me to developing a dilated cardiomyopathy? If so, are these reversible?
  • Are there viruses that could have led to my dilated cardiomyopathy? If so, will this improve over time?
  • What predisposed me to develop endocarditis?
  • Is my heart block hereditary Should my family be tested?

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