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Heart diseases are amongst the leading causes of death in developed and developing countries. The term 'heart disease' itself is inclusive of various congenital and acquired heart ailments. Diseases such as coronary artery disease, arrhythmia, heart infections and heart defects are covered under the umbrella term heart disease. Urban population, owing to their sedentary and unhealthy lifestyle is more susceptible to this disease. This disease affects men and women alike, though the prevalence is generally more in men. Although, the incidence is more in men, women are more likely to die due to this disease than men. There are many factors and causes of coronary heart disease. Knowing these risk factors may help you to keep this disease at bay. Here are a few of them.

Heart Disease Risk Factors in Men and Women

Heart disease risk factors in women are more or less the same as men. Post menopausal women are more likely to fall prey to this disease than pre menopausal women. Heart disease is often diagnosed later in women, while in men it can be diagnosed as early as in their thirties.

Heredity
Some people are genetically predisposed to developing heart diseases than others. If you have a history of heart disease in your family, your chances of developing one increase manifold. This disease simply runs in some families.

Race
Incidentally, some races are found to be more susceptible to developing heart disease than others. African Americans are at increased risk of developing heart disease, followed by American Indians and Mexican Americans. Caucasians are at minimal risk of developing heart disease than other races.

Age
Older people are invariably at an elevated risk of developing heart disease than younger people. Inactivity, decreased muscle mass, obesity, preexisting medical condition are some factors which makes older people more susceptible to heart disease. Medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension which are common amongst older people contribute a great deal to the development of heart disease.

Obesity
This is the most important risk factor for children and teenagers along with adults. Obesity has grown to epidemic proportions in developed countries. Obesity increases your risk of developing heart disease to a great extent. Obese people put a lot of pressure on their heart, which eventually leads to cardiac diseases.

Smoking
Smokers are two to four times more likely to acquire a heart disease than non smokers. This is a leading cause of cardiac arrest amongst younger urban population. Smoking combined with drinking alcohol is a lethal combination and a perfect recipe for developing heart disease amongst other health disorders. Even passive smoking can increase your risk of developing a cardiovascular disorder.

Inactive Lifestyle
Sedentary lifestyle is yet another major contributing factor to heart disease in big cities. Busy, stressful lifestyle leaves no time for exercise. Besides, sedentary work further alleviates any need for physical exertion. All this eventually results in development of heart disease.

While the first three risk factors are uncontrollable, the rest can definitely be controlled for improved health. Make a conscious effort to improve your lifestyle and give up unhealthy habits. If you are a smoker, giving up on your addiction can do a lot good to your heart and health in general. Spare at least 20 minutes in a day for a workout. If joining a gym or jogging in a park is not possible, perform yoga to eliminate stress from your life. If nothing is possible, resort to simple measures such as taking stairs instead of an elevator, walking down to a grocery store instead of driving etc. Even these small exercises can make a difference to your health.

Although, a heart friendly lifestyle does not offer complete protection from heart disease, it can at least control it to some extent. Besides, you will see an overall improvement in your general well-being.