In every issue of WebMD the Magazine, we ask our experts to answer readers' questions about a wide range of topics. In our September 2011 issue, we gave a reader's question about preventing heart disease to James Beckerman, MD, WebMD's heart health expert.
Q : Heart disease runs in my family. What can I really do now to help prevent it?
A : Cut out these five things to greatly reduce your risk:
Smoking (or hanging around with smokers). Smoking is the most dangerous -- yet most reversible...
diabetes. Because diabetes causes high blood sugar
levels, it can cause damage to the arteries in the heart, leading to
atherosclerosis and poor blood flow to the heart muscle. Atherosclerosis occurs
more often and at a younger age in people who have diabetes.