Family history of heart disease is considered to be the first cardiovascular event occurring in a male family member (father or brother) before the age of 55. For women, it's the first cardiovascular event occurring in a female family member (mother or sister) before the age of 65.
High blood pressure (also known as hypertension) is the greatest risk factor for a stroke. High blood pressure is defined as a reading of 140/90-mmHG or higher if you are taking blood pressure medication. Blood pressure that is between 120-139/80-89mmHG is considered Pre-Hypertension.
Diabetes is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
Hyperlipidemia (also know as High Serum Cholesterol Levels) is defined as a total Cholesterol Level Higher than 240mg/dL; HDL cholesterol level of less than 40mg/dL; or, and LDL Cholesterol Level Higher than 160-189mg/dL. These standards have been set by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute.
Symptoms of Heart Problems
The classis symptoms of chest pain going down the left side occur in both men and women. However, women are more likely to experience subtle warning symptoms of heart problems such as:
Fatigue and weakness
Shortness of breath with exertion
Flu-like symptoms-specifically nausea, clamminess, and unexplained dizziness
Pain in the upper back shoulders, neck jaw, or abdomen
Feelings of anxiety
These symptoms should not be ignored. If you are experiencing any of them, call and talk to your physician.