Do you know your risks for heart disease?

The statistics are alarming:
• One in three women and one in four men die of heart disease.
• Heart disease takes the lives of about 375,000 Americans each year - more lives than all forms of cancer combined.
There is some good news. Deaths from heart disease fell by nearly 40 percent from 2001 to 2011 according to the American Heart Association. “We are better at recognizing symptoms and risk factors. In addition, there are things you can do to lower your risk for heart disease,” reports Jenny Stegen, PA-C, physician assistant and the Gundersen Waukon Clinic.
One of the best modifiers of heart disease risk is physical activity. Stegen encourages, “Get moving. Even 10 minutes of exercise will dilate arteries for improved blood flow. Regular exercise can also help you manage your weight. Losing even 10 percent of your body weight unloads the heart. Exercise also improves cholesterol and triglyceride levels, firms and tones muscles, and decreases the risk of high blood pressure and diabetes.”
Something else you can do is visit and fill out an easy online health risk profiler to:
• Identify your heart age and risks for heart disease
• Learn ways to improve your health and lower your heart age
• Provide points for discussion with your healthcare provider

The online risk profiler is a great tool to help you and your healthcare provider form a preventive care plan as part of your overall health and wellness strategy. Together you can take steps to lower your risks so you can keep doing what you love.
If you’ve taken the assessment before, now might be a good time to take it again to measure your success in making healthy changes.