Cardiovascular disease is the major cause of death in America, accounting for 34 percent of deaths, many suddenly and almost all of them premature. If you have diabetes, your risk rises even higher—dramatically. You have an increased risk of heart disease if you are a man over age 45 or a woman over age 55. You also are at greater risk if you have a close family member who had heart disease at an early age.
Yet, in spite of all the negative statistics about heart disease, the good news is that these numbers can be reversed. By making a concerted effort to monitor your blood pressure, to watch your weight, to stop smoking and to get regular exercise, along with a few more simple steps, you can be well on your way to having a healthy heart and a decreased risk of serious problems.