Monday, September 29, 2014

Are you at risk for developing diabetes?

The risk factors for type 1 diabetes are still being researched. However, having a family member with type 1 diabetes slightly increases the risk of developing the disease.

Several risk factors have been associated with type 2 diabetes and include:

  1. Family history of diabetes: Increase risk if a parent or sibling has type 2 diabetes
  2. Overweight: Excess fatty tissue cause leads to insulin resistance.
  3. Unhealthy diet
  4. Physical inactivity: Physical activity helps to control weight, uses up glucose as energy and makes cells more sensitive to insulin.
  5. Increasing age
  6. High blood pressure
  7. Ethnicity: People of certain races — including blacks, Hispanics, American Indians and Asians — are at higher risk
  8. Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT)*
  9. History of gestational diabetes
  10. Poor nutrition during pregnancy

*Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT) is a category of higher than normal blood glucose, but below the threshold for diagnosing diabetes.


Are you at risk for Stroke or Brain Attack ?


Many factors increase the risk for stroke. Some factors can be controlled, while others cannot

  • Strokes are four to six times more likely in people with high blood pressure.
  • People with high cholesterol are at double the risk of having a stroke.
  • Strokes are six times more likely to occur in people with heart disease.
  • Excess weight can lead to heart disease and high cholesterol, which can lead to a stroke.
  • Heavy drinking increases the risk for stroke.
  • Smokers have double the risk for stroke as nonsmokers.


Healthy diet, exercise, controlling blood pressure and not smoking are cornerstones of stroke prevention
  • Control your blood pressure.
  • Find out if you have heart disease, especially an irregular heartbeat known as atrial fibrillation.
  • Don’t smoke.
  • Find out if you have a diseased carotid artery
  • Lower your cholesterol.
  • Limit your alcohol intake.
  • Control your weight.
  • If you have diabetes, manage the disease.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Are You At Risk Of Heart Attack ?

Heart attack occurs due to narrowing of blockage of blood vessels of heart. There are several risk factors which can cause or promote narrowing or blockage of these blood vessels and leading to heart attack.

There are many heart disease risk factors that can be controlled. By making changes in lifestyle, risk for heart disease can be reduced.

Controllable risk factors include:

  • Smoking: Smokers have more than twice the risk for heart attack as nonsmokers. Smoking and long-term exposure to secondhand smoke damage the interior walls of arteries (Blood vessel). Smoking also increases the risk of blood clots forming and causing a heart attack.
  • Elevated total and LDL cholesterol levels and Low HDL cholesterol level: The risk for heart disease increases as the total amount of cholesterol increases. In general, total cholesterol goal should be less than 200 mg/dl; HDL, the good cholesterol, higher than 40 mg/dl in men and 50 mg/dl in women (and the higher the better); and LDL should be less than 130 mg/dl in healthy adults.
  • Uncontrolled hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Physical inactivity
  • Obesity (more than 20% over one's ideal body weight):  Excess weight puts significant strain on your heart and worsens several other heart disease risk factors such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol and triglycerides.
  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • High C-reactive protein: CRP is a "marker" for inflammation. It has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, heart attack, stroke, and peripheral arterial disease.
  • Uncontrolled stress and anger: Poorly controlled stress and anger can lead to heart attacks and strokes.

There are several other risk factors for heart disease which cannot be controlled. 

Uncontrollable risk factors include:

  • Male sex
  • Older age
  • Family history of heart disease
  • Post-menopausal
  • Race (African Americans, American Indians, and Mexican Americans are more likely to have heart disease than Caucasians)