Learn Your Links

Norton Heart & Vascular Institute

Norton Heart & Vascular Institute specialists treat more cardiovascular patients — about 100,000 every year — than any provider in Louisville and Southern Indiana.

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Heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death in the U.S., accounting for 1 in every 4 deaths. Despite efforts to diagnose and treat heart disease early, many Americans are unaware of their risk. Are you one of them?

“There are several significant risk factors that can contribute to heart disease. Having one or more of these risk factors — or ‘links’ — increases your risk of having a heart attack or having a form of heart disease,” said Mostafa O. El-Refai, M.D., interventional cardiologist with Norton Heart Specialists. “At the same time, not knowing whether you have risk factors also puts you at risk.”

You can learn your links to heart disease. Learn more about how each impacts your heart health and what you can do to lower your risk of heart disease.

Diabetes

Blood glucose levels that remain high over time damage blood vessels. 

Family history

This is the link that puts you most at risk. And, you can’t change it.

High blood pressure

Untreated high blood pressure strains the arteries allows cholesterol to build up.

High BMI

Obesity can bring diabetes, cholesterol, high blood pressure, sleep trouble.

Sleep disorders

A bad night’s sleep puts a wide range of stresses on the heart,

Smoking

The smoke has chemicals that accelerate the buildup of cholesterol in your arteries. 

Unhealthy cholesterol

The buildup in your arteries doesn’t go away, even if you improve your numbers.

Unmanaged stress

The heart can be very sensitive to adrenaline over time and lead to a heart attack.

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