6 Simple Ways To Lower Your Risk Of Heart Disease

older man walkingHeart disease is the leading cause of death in African Americans, and if you have diabetes, you are two to four times more likely to die from heart disease than adults without diabetes. In fact, the American Heart Association considers diabetes to be one of the seven major controllable risk factors for cardiovascular disease. People with diabetes are also more likely to have certain conditions, or risk factors, that increase the chances of having heart disease or stroke, such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol. The following tips can help you take steps to reduce your risk of heart disease.

1. Keep the Pressure Down

High blood pressure is one of the top health concerns for African Americans. High blood pressure is often referred to as a “silent killer” because you don’t always have symptoms. It quietly strains your heart, damages blood vessels and increases your risk of heart attack, stroke, eye problems, and kidney problems. The blood pressure goal for most people with diabetes is below 140/90 mm Hg.

2. Control Cholesterol

You have two kinds of cholesterol in your blood: LDL and HDL. LDL or “bad” cholesterol causes narrowing and hardening of the arteries, so this number should be under 70 mg/dl.