Eating the right food and keeping active can have a positive impact on your health but many people say they ‘feel fine’ and continue to eat too much fat and sugar in their diets or do little or no activity.  However the ‘Big Three’ coronary risk factors are high cholesterol, high blood pressure and smoking.

The first two rarely show any obvious symptoms and are therefore not diagnosed unless, or until, a visit to the doctor is needed because you are feeling out of sorts and the doctor decides there is a reason to check them.

Physical activity and a healthier diet can reduce high blood pressure and high cholesterol.  Although smokers are aware of the risks of their habit stopping is one of the best things you can do for your health and well-being.

Secondary coronary risk factors are

  • Age and gender
  • Family history
  • Inactivity
  • Low aerobic fitness
  • Obesity
  • Waist to hip ratio
  • Diabetes
  • Excessive alcholol
  • Stress and personality

Whilst you cannot change your family history, knowing it can help to catch any problems at an early stage.

A family medical history can identify those with higher-than-usual chance of having  heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, certain cancers, and diabetes.  These conditions are influenced by a combination of genetic factors, environmental conditions, and lifestyle choices.

Being aware of your family medical history allows you to take steps to reduce your risk.  If you have an increased risk of certain conditions healthcare professionals may recommend more frequent screenings.  They may also encourage regular check-ups or testing for people with a medical condition that runs in their family.

In addition lifestyle changes such as adopting a healthier diet, getting regular exercise and quitting smoking can help you to lower your chances of developing heart disease and other common illnesses.

However, don’t try to change everything at once – make changes gradually and they’ll be more likely to become permanent changes.