Blood pressure, diabetes and family history are a few well-known risk factors for heart disease, but some little-known risk factors can also threaten your heart. The scary part is you may not even be aware of them.

Hidden Heart Issues

For some, looming heart issues may not be as obvious as high cholesterol, diabetes or a history of heart disease. In fact, more than a half of deaths caused by heart disease happen to people that were traditionally thought of as having relatively low risk.

New guidelines in managing risk of heart disease uncover that almost half of US adults have enough risk of a heart attack or a stroke to warrant some kind of preventive therapy that may include lifestyle changes or cholesterol or blood pressure lowering medications.

A few not-so-obvious symptoms that could lead to heart issues include:

Depression and/or Stress

There’s no question that people with depression or who are under a lot of stress have a higher risk of heart issues. If you’re dealing with depression or stress, it’s important to use stress management tools and coping skills to reduce your risk of heart disease. To identify your risk for depression, take a simple, free, confidential online screening today.

Sleep Apnea

In the last 10 to 15 years, the role of sleep apnea in patients with heart disease and patients at risk of having heart disease has become more apparent. A common symptom of sleep apnea is snoring. Sleep apnea is a condition where a person stops breathing while they’re sleeping, causing a snoring sound when the person gasps for breath. A person wakes up several times during the night when this happens, even though it may not be remembered. If you’re told you snore or often feel tired during the day, you may want to have a sleep study to determine if you have sleep apnea.

What Can I Do to Prevent My Risk of Heart Disease?

The first thing to do is pay attention to potential factors that could increase your risk of heart disease. Even if you are in your 40s, it’s the perfect time to start thinking about these risk factors. Especially since heart attacks do happen in people that have traditionally been thought to be at low risk. It’s never too early to think about your risk.

Ways to Identify Your Risk

  • Take HeartAware, a free, easy online screening to determine your risk of heart disease. If you are at risk, you can choose to meet with a nurse about your health
  • Talk to your doctor
  • Meet with a Bryan Heart cardiologist

The good news is heart disease risks are often within your control. A vast majority of risks can be improved with lifestyle changes like exercise and diet or medication. It’s important to identify your risk and talk with your doctor or a cardiologist to develop a plan.

“I had no idea I had a heart problem until it was almost too late. No signs, no symptoms. HeartAware saved my life.” – Derek, 41, Lincoln

Keith Miller, MD

Keith Miller, MD

Health Expert

Keith Miller, MD, is a cardiologist with Bryan Heart.

How Healthy Is Your Heart?

HeartAware is a free, easy, and confidential online screening to determine your heart health. If you’re at risk, you can choose to meet with a nurse about your health. If you complete HeartAware in February 2018, you could win $100 to Russ’s Market/SuperSaver!

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