Manage Your Heart Health

Cardiologist Dr. Beth Abramson says it's important to know your heart and stroke risk factors to avoid becoming a statistic.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation has a great free online risk assesment test to help you know your risk before you feel it.

Here are some of the risk factors Dr. Beth says we can control:

You can control high blood pressure

The easiest way for you to manage high blood pressure is to lower our intake of sodium. On average, adult Canadians consume about 3,400 mg of sodium per day, which is significantly above recommended levels by Health Canada. The upper limit adults should consume is 2,300 mg per day.

You can control your weight

Dr. Beth recommends everyone measure their waist today. Fat stored around your middle can put you at risk for high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, type-2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. A modest weight reduction of as little as five percent of body weight can reduce your high blood pressure and total blood cholesterol.

For males: If you are around or above 100 cm (37"), you are at increased risk for developing health problems.

For females: If you are around or above 90 cm (35"), you are at increased risk for developing health problems.

You can control your level of physical activity

A major factor related to heart disease is our lack of activity. Start off slowly, but get up and get moving! Dr. Beth recommends starting with a simple walk around the block. Do that today, and keep it up. Be active at least 30-60 minutes a day, three times a week.

Dr. Beth Abramson