You work out regularly. You don’t smoke. Your diet is (at least relatively) in check. You don’t need to worry about heart health at all, right? We don’t want to get all alarmist on you, but you actually should start thinking about it, like yesterday.
“Every day in my office I see patients who have healthy lifestyles, who are doing what we’d think of as the right thing—they’re exercising frequently and watching their weight, they’ve stopped smoking—but yet, they still have a risk of heart disease,” says Lawrence Phillips, MD, Director of Nuclear Cardiology at NYU Langone Medical Center and member of the American Heart Association’s (AHA) Board of Directors in New York City.
That’s because there are certain risk factors for heart problems that are silent. And, believe it or not, heart disease affects 12 percent of men under 40, and 41 percent of men under 60, per the AHA. In fact, it’s the number one killer in the US—striking one person every 43 seconds.
You can find out what your risk is for heart problems with this risk assessment calculator from the American Heart Association. But regardless, consider these six things now. Yes, while you’re young and healthy. Speaking of being young, if you're in New York City, hit up the 2015 Young Professionals Red Ball on April 24th. Sponsored by the AHA, the goal is to raise $100,000 to support their mission. You can buy tickets here.