Risk Factors

According to the American Heart Association, there are nearly 84 million American adults with at least 1 form of cardiovascular disease. That’s 1 in 3!

Cardiovascular disease remains the #1 killer in America… more than cancer, lung disease, accidents, Alzheimer disease.

This is especially true for women… While one in 31 American women dies from breast cancer each year, heart disease causes one in three deaths each year.

Prevention is key. At Houston Cardiovascular Associates, in order to prevent catastrophic events in your life, we focus on treating the major cardiovascular risk factors: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, obesity.

  • HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE – Systolic blood pressure above 140mmHg or diastolic blood pressure above 90mmHg; or taking blood pressure medications.

1 in 3 American adults has high blood pressure (AKA hypertension). Around 70% of those with their 1st heart attack, stroke, or heart failure have high blood pressure.

Schedule an appointment today to discuss your blood pressure with one of our cardiologists.


Abnormal cholesterol levels can increase risk of heart disease and stroke. The narrowing of the arteries are due to cholesterol plaques. In the heart, the narrowing can lead to chest pain and heart attacks. In the brain arteries, these can lead to stroke. In the legs, the narrowing can lead to leg pain, ulcers, and amputations.

If you have been told you have “bad cholesterol” or it has never been checked, schedule an appointment today to meet with one of our cardiologists.

    Nearly 70 million Americans over the age of 12 use tobacco products. Cardiovascular risk is directly proportional to exposure to cigarette smoke, including secondhand smoke. Smokers have a 2 to 4 times increased risk of stroke! On average, smokers live 13-14 years less than non-smokers.

Direct medical costs ($96 billion) and lost productivity costs ($97 billion) associated with smoking totaled an esti- mated $193 billion per year between 2000 and 2004. In 2008, $9 .94 billion was spent on marketing cigarettes in the United States.

If you are motivated, you can stop smoking. Schedule an appointment with your cardiologist to discuss options.

    Being overweight increases the risk of developing diabetes, sleep-disorders, liver & gallbladder disease, cancers, and of course cardiovascular disease. Body Mass Index (or BMI) is a quick way of classifying your weight.

Here is a link to calculate yours:

If your BMI is abnormal, make an appointment with our cardiologists to discuss the impact on your cardiovascular health.