Heart Health - Nature and Nurture

Heart Health - Nature and Nurture

It's widely accepted that genetics play a part in our overall health, but new research proves that it doesn't entirely determine our destiny. While we can't control what we inherit, we can control what we do.

Northwestern University's Department of Preventive Medicine monitored the effect a healthy lifestyle — including diet — has on future cardiovascular wellness. The scientific findings suggest our lifestyle has more of an impact on cardiovascular health than previously thought. It's not simply our genes, but how we live — especially as young adults — that affects our heart disease risk.1

What we learned

Cardiovascular disease (heart disease and stroke) is a leading cause of death for Canadian men and women, so it is important to understand how to prevent them. The more risk factors you have, the greater your risk. Are you at risk? Take the Heart&Stroke Risk Assessment and get a personalized risk profile and a customized action plan for healthy living that includes tips, tools, recipes and much more to help you reduce your risk.

Risk factors you can do something about

  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Being overweight
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Physical inactivity
  • Smoking
  • Stress

Risk factors you cannot control

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Family History
  • Ethnicity
  • History of stroke or TIA (transient ischemic attack)
1 Liu K, Daviglus ML, Loria CM. Healthy Lifestyle Through Young Adulthood and the Presence of Low Cardiovascular Disease Risk Profile in Middle Age. Circulation.2012; 125: 996-1004

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