Heart Disease and the Risks We Take

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women worldwide. Each year 620,000 Americans die of heart disease, about 1 in 4 of all causes of death. This is greater than all cancers combined (590,000), chronic lower respiratory disease (150,000), and accidents (140,000).

It is called a silent killer, since for many their first warning sign comes too late. According to National Academy of Sciences and ScienceDaily, cardiac survival rates are around 6 percent for those occurring outside of a hospital. Approximately 395,000 instances of cardiac arrest occur outside of a hospital setting, only 6% survive. Out of the 200,000 instances of cardiac arrest that occur inside hospital walls, 24% survive.

Risk Factors for Heart Disease

+ Not modifiable risks: Age above 65, gender, family history of early heart disease.

+ Modifiable / treatable factors:

High blood pressure: Goal is < 130/80 in most people.

High cholesterol: treatment goal depends upon overall risk. About 80% of cholesterol is produced in the body and 20% from the food that we eat.

Diabetes: this markedly increases the risk of heart disease.

Smoking: this interacts with other risk factors to greatly increase risk of heart disease.

Overweight: Traditional definition is BMI > 25. Alternate definition is waist to hip circumference ratio > 1.0 for men and 0.8 for women.

Physical inactivity: regular exercise and physical activity can extend life up to several years in a recent study (Nov. 6, 2012, in PLoS Medicine). For example, runners live about 3 years longer.  This amounted to 7 hours of extra life for every 1 hour of weekly running (no further benefits shown beyond 4 hours weekly). Exercise also helps with stress relief, good sleep, mood regulation, and cognitive function.

Other Contributing Factors

Stress: Though it is difficult to measure stress exactly, too much stress causes many health issues including heart disease.

Alcohol: recommendation is 2/day max for men and 1/day for women. It is not recommended that nondrinkers start using alcohol or that drinkers increase the amount they currently drink.

Diet / Nutrition: A healthy diet is one of the best ways to combat heart disease. This also affects many other controllable risk factors such as weight, diabetes, and blood pressure. Choose a diet that emphasizes vegetable, fruits, and whole grains. Good protein sources include dairy products, fish, legumes, and nuts. Limiting consumption of sweets, sweetened beverages and red meats is strongly encouraged.

Screening for heart disease

Basic screening for heart disease includes a detailed history, exam and blood work. Further screening can be accomplished with EKG, stress testing, specialized laboratory tests, coronary calcium scoring, etc.

Contact Trophy Club Family Medicine

For more information regarding heart disease, contact Trophy Club Family Medicine by calling our office at 817-430-9111.  We are located in Trophy Club, TX and have several family medical physicians on staff ready to help!

Contact Us

Trophy Club Family Medicine
945 Trophy Club Drive
Trophy Club, TX 76262

Office Hours


8:00 am-5:00 pm


8:00 am-5:00 pm


8:00 am-5:00 pm


8:00 am-5:00 pm


8:00 am-5:00 pm