By Dr. Diana Rinkevich, CMH/OHSU Cardiology Clinic
It’s a sobering fact that gets to the heart of the matter: According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, heart disease remains the leading cause of death and disability for American women and men.
Some risk factors for heart disease can’t be changed—such as getting older or having a family history of heart problems. But you can control many factors that put you at risk by making small changes in your daily life.
First, “know your numbers,” including your cholesterol levels, blood sugar, and blood pressure. And be proactive in achieving optimal values.
Optimal values are:
Here are some tips to help you get to these numbers:
Be in the know. If you haven’t already, bring up heart health with your doctor. Discuss your risk factors and what you can do. Remember, the only way to know your numbers (cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure, glucose levels) is by checking them on a regular basis.
Diana Rinkevich, MD, is board-certified in cardiovascular disease and echocardiography. She has more than 30 years of experience and is recognized as a leader in women’s heart health and echocardiography. She is the medical director of the CMH/OHSU Cardiology Clinic.
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