Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is what we call a multifactorial disease and that means that rather than one cause there are a number of factors that combine to increase the risk. We often classifiy these risk factors into those that are unavoidable and those that are preventable.
Unavoidable risk factors: being older, male, family history of CVD, Aboriginal or Torres Straight Islander, Maori or Pacific Islander or from the Indian subcontinent
Preventable risk factors: smoking, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, insufficient physical activity, overweight/obesity, poor nutrition (eg high saturated fat, low vegetables, high salt), heavy alcohol use, diabetes and pre-diabetes, depression and social isolation.
As you can see a healthy diet and lifestyle can go a long way to reduce your risk by addressing preventable risk factors.
CVD is still the leading cause of death and one of the leading causes disability in Australia.
If you'd like to know how to reduce your risk through healthy living, check out my book Eat to Beat Cholesterol for information, advice, tips and great recipes. Available in bookshops and online at http://www.greatideas.net.au/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=Eat+to+beat+cholesterol&osCsid=b343aca12386b1245a85f5368ea9dc1c&x=25&y=7
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