Knowing about our health risks can help us take important steps toward reducing them. We know eating empty calories and living a sedentary life are big health risks. We also know we can reduce these risks by eating less junk food and spending less time on the couch.
Another well-known health risk is smoking. It increases the risks for conditions such as stroke and heart disease — the No. 1 cause of death in America.
Can smoking less reduce your risks for developing heart disease or stroke? A major new study found the answer.
You might think that the risks from smoking one cigarette per day would be a lot less than the risk of smoking 20 per day. Here’s what the study found:
The study also researched the risk for stroke from one cigarette per day compared to 20. The proportions are similar to heart disease risks — 41% of the risk for men and 34% for women.
Whether you’re a light smoker, heavy smoker or have never smoked, heart disease remains a serious health risk. One in four deaths in the U.S. results from heart disease.
You can turn around your heart health by making some lifestyle improvements:
If after making these lifestyle changes, you still need help with heart health, your health care clinician may refer you to a cardiologist — a heart specialist.
Your heart health turnaround can start with a phone call to your clinician or cardiologist. If you need help in finding a doctor, just check our Find a Doctor page online.
If you have a significant diagnosis like heart disease, you’re welcome to get a second opinion. It’s important that you’re comfortable with the information you have to make some important decisions. We have a short online form you can fill out to start the second-opinion process. We’re happy to help.