We’re bombarded with all sorts of facts and stats about heart disease and a common misconception is people think if they don’t have a family history of heart disease they’re not at risk. Millennium Physician Group Interventional Cardiologist Terence Connelly, M.D., says family history’s not even in his top three risk factors.
“The family history is only one of the five risk factors and I don’t rank that one number one at all,” he admits. “I rank probably smoking number one and diabetes, close second and then your high cholesterol and hypertension and then finally family history.”
Another common myth Dr. Connelly says he hears from patients is they think they’re too young to worry about heart disease. Not so.
“Nobody is too young to worry about heart disease,” he warns. “I’ve treated patients in their 20s with established heart disease.”
Dr. Connelly also says that patients often make the false assumption that when they’re taking medications to control risk factors, it’s a magic fix: no lifestyle changes required.
“Medication is always one of the most important parts of your treatment, but it isn’t the only part of treatment,” he says. “Exercise, diet control. I recommend a low cholesterol diet for those who have established disease. A low cholesterol diet is very simple, one serving of red meat per week and avoid dairy products. That’s it.”
Simple and proven advice to heed for your heart health.