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Know Your Risk For Heart Disease

Medically reviewed by Lauren Labrador, MD, FPCP, DPCC · Cardiology

Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Sep 01, 2022

Know Your Risk For Heart Disease

Are you worried about having heart disease in the future? Perhaps, a few of your relatives are undergoing treatment for a cardiovascular condition and you want to ascertain your risks. Being aware of the possibility that you might develop a heart problem in the future puts you on the right path, especially if you want to know how to prevent heart disease. When you know your risk factors, you’ll be able to better manage your habits and behavior. 

How to Prevent Heart Disease: Knowing Your Risk Factors

Risk factors, or things that increase your risk of developing a health condition, can be non-modifiable or modifiable. Non-modifiable risk factors are those you have no control over, like your ethnicity, gender, and age. Modifiable risk factors are those that you can take action on, like your diet and physical activity. 

How to prevent heart disease? Use this guide to identify the factors that might put you at risk of developing cardiovascular disease in the future. 

Non-Modifiable Risk Factors

Are you at risk of developing heart disease? Reports say the following non-modifiable factors increase your risk:

  • Aging. As you age, the risk of having heart disease increases. Cardiovascular risk begins at age 45 and up in men and 55 and above in women.
  • Sex. Reports say heart disease is generally a man’s disease, although women tend to develop heart problems 10 years later than men. Also, the outcome for women is often worse. 
  • Family history. If you have an immediate family member or relative who has heart disease, your risk increases, too. 

Modifiable Risk Factors

How to prevent heart disease? Experts say it’s best to focus on reducing or eliminating the modifiable risk factors, like the following:

Unhealthy Diet

In particular, a diet high in saturated and trans fat, as well as cholesterol, is associated with increased cardiovascular risk. A diet high in salt, on the other hand, can increase your blood pressure, which then predisposes you to heart disease. 

As Filipinos like salty condiments (patis, soy sauce, bagoong) and fatty foods (crispy pata, lechon, and chicharon), following a healthy diet should be a priority. 

Cigarette Smoking

Did you know that 28% of Filipinos smoke? That’s more than 17 million people! 

If you’re a smoker, now is the best time to quit. Cigarettes are a huge health hazard. It doesn’t just increase your risk of cardiovascular disease, but also cancer. 

Alcohol Intake 

Drinking alcohol is also a risk factor. A 2021 survey by the Department of Health revealed that 4 in 10 Filipinos drank alcohol in 30 days before the survey. Results also showed that 1 in 3 participants drink 6 or more glasses in a single drinking⁸.

Lack of Physical Activity

Recent data suggest that 67% of Filipinos are moving less now, and they can already feel its effects

Not only is a sedentary lifestyle associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular ailments, but it also predisposes you to other diseases like diabetes and obesity – both of which are also risk factors. 


Several diseases affecting Filipinos increase the risk of heart disease. One in 4 Filipinos has hypertension. Around 27 million in the country are obese. And finally, a 2021 report identified that 1 in every 14 Filipino adults has diabetes, which is also one of the top causes of death in the Philippines. 

Also, did you know that obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which is usually underdiagnosed, is a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases? OSA is the most common sleep-related breathing disorder where you repeatedly stop and start breathing in your sleep. If you suspect OSA, it’s best that you consult your doctor as soon as possible. 

You might think that diseases are non-modifiable factors, but reports say they are. The reason is that you can manage them if you work closely with your doctor and follow your treatment plan. 

Your Next Steps

The top leading cause of death in the country remains to be coronary artery disease, in particular, ischemic heart disease. If you want to curb the possibility of having a heart ailment, it’s best to act NOW. 
How to prevent heart disease? Know your risk factors and focus on those you can “modify.” These include following a healthy, balanced diet, exercising regularly, avoiding or quitting smoking, and of course, managing your underlying health problems.

Learn more about Heart Health here


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Lauren Labrador, MD, FPCP, DPCC


Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Sep 01, 2022

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