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How Can I Lower My Heart Disease Risk?
Q: Heart disease is common in the men in my family. What are some basic steps I can take to lower my risk?

A: Heart disease, also known as cardiovascular disease, is the number one cause of death in the United States. Until age 50, men are at greater risk than women of developing heart disease, though once a woman enters menopause, her risk triples. Here are four steps that will take you far in avoiding heart disease:

  1. Get smoke-free. Quit smoking and stay clear of cigarette smoke to lower your risk of several types of cardiovascular disease.
  2. Watch what you eat. Eat lots of fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, fish, and avoid fats from meat, dairy, and processed foods high in hydrogenated oils.
  3. Stay active. Couch potatoes have increased cardiovascular disease risk, so make sure you get regular exercise.
  4. Get tested. See your healthcare provider to find out if you have problems with high blood pressure or high blood levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, or glucose.


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