Smoking is the most important preventable cause of premature death in the United States. If you smoke, tell your doctor at your next healthcare visit. If you smoke, your doctor can suggest approaches to help quit. Also discuss your diet and physical activity habits. If there’s room for improvement in your diet and daily physical activity levels, ask your doctor to provide helpful suggestions. Recommended Schedule for Screening Tests : Recommended Screenings : Blood pressure. How Often? Each regular healthcare visit or at least once every 2 years if blood pressure is less than 120/80 mm Hg. Starting when? Age 20. Recommended Screenings : Cholesterol (“fasting lipoprotein profile” to measure total, HDL and LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides). How Often? Every 4-6 years for normal-risk people; more often if any you have elevated risk for heart disease and stroke. Starting when? Age 20. Recommended Screenings : Weight / Body Mass Index (BMI).How Often? During your regular healthcare visit. Starting when? Age 20 Recommended Screenings : Waist circumference. How Often? As needed to help evaluate cardiovascular risk. This is a supplemental measurement if your BMI is greater than or equal to 25 kg/m2. Starting when? Age 20 Recommended Screenings : Blood glucose test How Often? At least every 3 years. Starting when? Age 45 Recommended Screenings : Discuss smoking, physical activity, diet How Often? Each regular healthcare visit. Starting when? Age 20 Coronary Heart Disease Risk Factors Major Risk Factors That Can’t Be Changed • Increasing Age: About 80 percent of people who die of coronary heart disease are 65 or older. • Male Sex (Gender): Men have a greater risk of heart attack than women do, and they have attacks earlier in life. • Heredity (Including Race): Children of parents with heart disease are more likely to develop it themselves. Major Risk Factors That Can Be Modified, Treated or Controlled • Tobacco Smoke: Smokers' risk of developing coronary heart disease is 2-4 times that of nonsmokers. • High Blood Cholesterol: As LDL rises, so does risk of coronary heart disease. • High Blood Pressure: High blood pressure increases the heart's workload, causing the arteries to thicken and become stiffer. • Physical Inactivity: An inactive lifestyle is a risk factor for coronary heart disease. • Obesity and Overweight: People who have excess body fat — especially at the waist — are more likely to develop heart disease and stroke. • Diabetes: Diabetes increases your risk of developing cardiovascular disease.