Risk factors for cardiovascular diseases (such as coronary artery disease, heart attack and stroke) include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, diabetes, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, high levels of stress and family history of heart disease or stroke.
Lifestyle changes, medicines and medical procedures can help prevent and/or treat cardiovascular disease. An analysis of National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data shows an estimated 44% of the decline in heart disease deaths from 1980 to 2000 was attributable to increases in physical activity, reductions in smoking prevalence and lowering of cholesterol and blood pressure. Interventions that reduce risk factors such as high cholesterol, smoking and physical inactivity could prevent as much as 80% of heart attacks and strokes.
The American Heart Association created Life’s Simple 7, a tool for individuals to measure their heart health.
The Million Hearts initiative is a national effort to improve access and quality of care to reduce the incidence of heart disease and stroke; it aims to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2022 through promotion of community and clinical prevention programs. Healthy People 2030 has numerous objectives to improve cardiac health and reduce heart disease and stroke mortality such as increasing high blood pressure control among adults with high blood pressure.