•    How do you know what your risk of having a heart attack will be? Should you be on therapy to lower your risks? What are the best ways to check your cardiovascular risks?
  •    To calculate your Heart Attack Risk, click here and have your recent Cholesterol and blood pressure numbers ready.

This calculator will give you your risk percentage of having a heart attack over the next 10 years

  •     How do you know what your cancer risk is? What are factors that increase my risk? What can I change in my life to lower that risk?

To evaluate your risk of cancer please click here.


  •         Educating yourself on risk factors for having a heart attack is a crucial first step.
  •         Unsure what HDL Cholesterol or Total Cholesterol are?

o   Total Cholesterol:

  •  This is simply a total of all your cholesterol you have in your blood which includes the bad cholesterol  (VLDL and LDL) as well as the good cholesterol (HDL).
  •  What kind of numbers do you want?
  •         Anything over 240 mg/dL is considered high and puts you at twice as much of a risk of developing a heart attack
  •         At the Cardiovascular Institute we like to have our patients aim to keep their total cholesterol levels below 200 mg/dL

o   HDL Cholesterol:

  •  This is considered the good cholesterol. It is good because it carries cholesterol in your blood and brings it to the liver to remove it from your body. In doing so, HDL helps fight the “bad” cholesterol from building up in your arteries, thereby preventing strokes, heart attacks and high blood pressure.
  •  What kind of numbers do you want?
  •         Anything below 40 mg/dL puts you at risk for a heart attack
  •         At the cardiovascular Institute we like to aim to have our patient’s have levels above 60 mg/dL for optimal heart protection.

What can I do to increase my HDL cholesterol?

One of the best ways proven to increase your HDL or “good” cholesterol is exercise! Regular walking, jogging, or activity each day has been shown to increase HDL cholesterol.

  •         Unsure about blood pressure?

o   How exactly does high blood pressure affect my chances of having a heart attack?

  •  A heart attack is the result of a blocked blood supply to the heart muscle tissue. This can happen when the arteries to the heart become thicker and harder from a buildup of plaque. High blood pressure causes scarred arteries that fill up with plaque and become more prone to blood clots. Sometimes plaque or a blood clot can completely close an artery, blocking the blood flow to tissue on the other side.

High blood pressure, over time, also puts a strain on the heart and makes it work harder to pump blood out to the body. With this extra effort to pump, the heart grows in size and may compromise its ability to pump blood as well.


  •  What kind of numbers do you want?
Total cholesterol
Desirable Below                       Below 200
Borderline high                        200-239
High                                           240 or above
LDL (bad) cholesterol
Optimal                                 Below 70
Near/above optimal 100-129
Borderline high 130-159
High 160-189
Very High 190 or above
HDL (good) cholesterol
High 60 or above
Low Below 40
Normal Below 150
Borderline high 150-199
High 200-499
Very high 500 or above


Up to 35% of cases of cancer have a dietary component, with some cancers being tied directly to diet. Research shows patients who follow a plant based diet that is low in fat and high in antioxidants and nutrients is associated with a lower risk of developing cancers such as colon, breast, pancreatic, and prostate cancer.


Two of the biggest things you can do to lower your risk of both cancer and heart disease is to eat a healthy diet and exercise daily.



  • Daily exercise is highly encouraged. We recommend 30 minutes to 1 hour of aerobic exercise. This can include jogging, walking, swimming, or biking. The benefits of daily exercise will not only make you feel better, more confident and happier but it will ultimately prevent disease and unnecessary trips to the doctor.


  • The old saying of “we are what we eat” has truth to it. We get out of our bodies what we put into them and how we care for them. New research points to a plant based diet reducing the risk of heart disease and many cancers. We also highly encourage a diet low in salt and carbohydrates. For numerous tips on what to eat , tasty recipes, and exercise please take a look at our book online, From Our Heart To Yours,


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