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8 Factors that Increase Heart Disease Risk

Many people can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease by knowing the risk factors and reducing those that are preventable. These factors increase your risk of a heart attack:

  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Being overweight
  • Bad cholesterol
  • Lack of physical activity
  • High stress levels
  • Family history

The sooner you take steps toward a healthier heart, the stronger chance you have of reducing your risk for a heart attack. In fact, the American Heart Association recommends that heart attack prevention begin by age 20. Your best defense is working with your physician to come up with a personalized plan and choosing a healthy lifestyle that minimizes risks.

Know Your Numbers

Knowledge is power. And knowing your heart stats is one of your most powerful prevention tools. Routine doctor’s visits and health screenings will help you keep tabs on your ticker. But what do the numbers mean? Here’s a handy reference guide. Remember: Your health goals may be different depending on your current health. Talk with your doctor about what’s right for you.

FactorGoalStatus
Total Cholesterol Less than 200 mg/dL
LDL Cholesterol Less than 100 mg/dL Optimal
100 to 129 mg/dL Near Optimal / Above Optimal
130 to 159 mg/dL Borderline High
160 to 189 mg/dL High
190 mg/dL and above Very High
HDL Cholesterol 50 mg/dL or higher
Triglycerides Less than mg/dL
Blood Pressure Less than 120/80 mmHg Optimal
120-139 / 80-89 Pre-hypertension
More than 140/90 Hypertension (High blood pressure)
Waist Size Less than 35 inches for women
Less than 40 inches for men



Additional Resources

Please read more below to learn about additional heart education resources.

Heart Readiness

ProMedica Toledo Hospital is the only hospital in the region with a cardiologist on-duty in our hospital 24 hours a day, seven day a week. Nobody plans on having a heart attack. But by learning the answers to these four questions, you’ll be better prepared to get the help you need or that a loved one needs during a heart attack. Are you ready?

Take ProMedica’s Health Readiness online self-test

Heart Assessment

How healthy is your heart? If you don’t know, you should. Take our simple, online heart quiz. It is always best to discuss your individual health directly with your healthcare provider. Talk with your doctor if you have questions or concerns about the information presented in this assessment.

Take ProMedica’s online Heart Assessment

Let Us Help You Kick Some Butt

ProMedica Tobacco Treatment Services offers tools and programs, including individual and group counseling sessions. Our highly skilled and experienced respiratory therapists and registered nurses help you create a customized plan for quitting that fits your needs and lifestyle.

Learn more about ProMedica’s Tobacco Treatment Services

Free Health Screenings and Classes

ProMedica offers free health screenings that include heart-specific tests like blood pressure in addition to a variety of screenings and wellness activities. For your convenience, our representatives are throughout the community.

Find a ProMedica health screening near you

More Exercise, Less Weight

The stronger your heart, the less work it is has to do to function properly. To get it strong, losing weight and picking the right exercise regimen are essential. Programs available from ProMedica can help heart patients recover faster and stay on the road to recovery long.

Learn about ProMedica’s heart-related diet, exercise services

Heart Toolkit

Use the tools below to take charge of your heart health.

Heart and Vascular Newsletter

We're always here when your heart needs us most. But, so much of your heart health counts on you and what you know. We hope that the stories and information you find here in this space will help you lead a heart-healthy life.

Sign up for the Heart and Vascular Newsletter

Heart and Vascular on Pinterest

Follow our "Heart Health" board on Pinterest to view tips and and advice for loving your heart from some of ProMedica's top experts.

Follow the "Heart Health" board

Heart Experts

ProMedica Physicians are experts who provide care in a variety of specialties, including cardiac electrophysiology, cardiology, vascular surgery and cardiothoracic surgery. As part of a large network of providers, ProMedica Physicians work to approach your health as a whole. Find the ProMedica heart expert that’s right for you.

Find a heart doctor