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Cardiovascular Disease (and how to avoid it!). Heart Disease is the #1 killer of women in America. Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors. Most risk factors are controllable: High Blood Pressure Smoking Lack of exercise Obesity / overweight High stress Poor eating habits High Cholesterol

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cardiovascular disease risk factors
Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors
  • Most risk factors are controllable:
    • High Blood Pressure
    • Smoking
    • Lack of exercise
    • Obesity / overweight
    • High stress
    • Poor eating habits
    • High Cholesterol
    • Diabetes
  • Some risk factors are not controllable:
    • Family history of heart disease
    • Age
blood pressure
Blood Pressure
  • The top number is the pressure when your heart pumps blood. It is called the systolic pressure.
  • The bottom number is the pressure between pumps. It is called the diastolic pressure.
  • Your blood pressure is considered high if:
    • The top number is 140 or more
    • The bottom number is 90 or more.
a healthy blood pressure goal is
A Healthy Blood Pressure Goal is:

Less than


If you are diabetic, your goal is less than 130/80.


Warning Signs of a Heart Attack

  • Discomfort, pressure, fullness, squeezing, or pain in the middle chest that persists for several minutes. It may go away and return later.
Chest discomfort with lightheadedness, shortness of breath, nausea, sweating, or fainting.

Warning Signs of a

Heart Attack


Warning Signs of a

Heart Attack

  • Pain that radiates to the shoulders, neck, or arms.
determining your cardiovascular disease risk
Determining Your Cardiovascular Disease Risk
  • Cholesterol level
  • Activity Level
  • Smoking
  • Blood Pressure
  • Personal History of Heart Disease
  • Testing (Stress EKG)
  • Diabetes
  • Family History
  • Age
  • Excessive Body Fat
  • Tension & Stress
  • Testing (Resting EKG)
  • Triglycerides
  • A waxy substance found only in foods from animals such as meats, dairy, eggs and animal fats.
  • Our bodies need some cholesterol to digest food, make hormones, and build cell walls.
  • Our bodies make all the cholesterol we need.
  • Cholesterol is carried in “packages” : LDLs, HDLs, Triglycerides.
total cholesterol guidelines
Total Cholesterol Guidelines

240 mg/dl or greater = High Risk

200-239 mg/dl = Borderline

  • <200 mg/dl = Desirable
prevention of cardiovascular disease
Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease
  • Control your weight
  • Eat a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet (rich in fruits, vegetables, low fat foods)
  • Learn to read food labels
  • Exercise regularly (at least 30 minutes daily most days of the week)
  • Don’t smoke or use tobacco products
  • Take medication to lower cholesterol or blood pressure if prescribed
  • Control your blood sugar if your have diabetes
  • Limit stress. Learn and use stress relieving techniques.

Increase Your Activity!

  • Stand while talking on the phone
  • Brainstorm project ideas with a co-worker while taking a walk
  • Walk to speak to someone instead of using the phone
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Use your break to take a brisk walk or to use the fitness center on the 1st floor
  • Use half of your lunch to walk
  • Wear a pedometer to track your activity
  • Smoking has been linked to cardiovascular disease.
  • Smoking speeds up the process of atherosclerosis ( the buildup of plaque in the inner walls of the arteries) & increases the risk of death from a heart attack.
  • Smoking increases heart rate, raises blood pressure, and irritates the heart. Smoking is also destructive to the heart membranes around the arteries and encourages clot formation.
  • Smoking decreases HDL’s.
  • The risk for cardiovascular disease begins decreasing the moment you quit smoking.