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Heart Education and Wellness

Cardiovascular Disease quick facts

Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) is the number one killer in America. Bakersfield Heart Hospital is the only hospital in Kern County focusing primarily on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease. This section of our website is dedicated to providing you with information about CVD and making heart healthy choices. Coronary risk factors include the following:

Age

  • For both men and women, the risk of heart attack increase with age.
  • More than half of all heart attack victims are over the age of 65.

Family History

  • A family history of heart attacks or strokes increases a person’s chances of suffering from heart disease.

Gender

  • Heart Disease is the leading killer of men and women
  • Women are twice as likely to die from their first heart attack.
  • Women before the age of menopause have fewer heart attacks.
  • Men and women often have different warning signs.

Blood Pressure

  • Normal blood pressure is: 120/80
  • Pre-hypertension: 120-139/80-89
  • Stage 1 Hypertension: 140-159/90-100
  • Stage 2 Hypertension: 160 (or higher)/100 (or higher)

Diabetes

  • People with diabetes or a family history of diabetes have a higher than normal risk of heart attacks.

Body Weight

  • 30% or more above your ideal weight sharply increases your risk of developing heart disease.
  • Women tend to be more overweight than men.

Stress

  • Everyone has a certain amount of emotional stress every day, but the ability to handle stress varies a great deal.

Sedentary Lifestyle

  • Exercise that stimulates the heart and lungs for long periods of time is essential to preventing hardening of the arteries. It keeps cholesterol down, burns calories and increases the efficiency of the heart.

Personality Type

  • Research has shown that certain types of personalities are more frequently associated with heart attacks than others. For example, a hard-driving, aggressive person is more prone to suffer heart attacks.
  • Anger can be a risk factor. Losing your temper can double your risk of heart attack within the next two hours.

Cholesterol

  • Your total cholesterol level should be 200 or below.
  • Your HDL – good cholesterol – should be 40 or above for men, 50 or above for women. The higher the number the more protection your coronary arteries have from heart disease.
  • Your LDL – the amount of cholesterol you take in through your diet – should be kept below 100. If you are a cardiovascular patient, your LDL should be kept at 70 or below.
  • High fat foods can raise blood cholesterol and cause fat to be deposited in the arteries.

Smoking

  • Cigarette smoking is the most preventable cause of disability and death from heart attacks.
  • Smokers have four times more risk of heart attacks and strokes than non-smokers.
  • More smokers die from heart disease than from cancer.
  • A smoker’s life expectancy is reduced by 15-19 years.