Facebook Pixel

How To Lower Your Risk Of Heart Disease - Howdini

Rate This

More Videos from Howdini 30 videos in this series

Heart disease is the number one killer in America, but you can significantly lower your risk through some simple lifestyle changes. Here is vital information from Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, director of Women and Heart Disease at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York.

I'm Lisa Birnbach for Howdini. The fight against heart disease is a good news, bad news story. It remains by far and away the biggest killer in this country, but the good news is there are definite things each of us can do to reduce our risk. Here to talk about how we can improve our chances of staying heart-healthy is Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, a cardiologist specializing in women's heart disease at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York. Hi, Doctor.


What can we do?

It's really important to understand that heart disease is due to risk factors. And so we really have to be aware of our own personal risk of developing heart disease. Years ago, 1948, the Framingham Risk Score Analysis was started. And it was published in 1961. And essentially it showed us what lifestyle risk factors lead to heart disease. It looked at age, high blood pressure, total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and also smoking. Using these risk factors, it gave us a 10-year analysis of what our risk for developing heart disease is. We know now that there might be other risk factors that come into play, in terms of your risk of developing heart disease. Inflammatory markers, something called a CRP, is associated with an increased risk of heart disease. Diabetes is very important. Family history, a sedentary lifestyle, stress, obesity-- all of these different factors come into play when we look at one's individual risk of developing heart disease.

Based on what you said, is there anyone who isn't at risk for heart disease at some point?

I think that there are certain group of people, clearly, that possess these risk factors, that are at risk. But those of us that exercise, that eat well, that we're lucky enough not to be born into a family that has a significant risk of heart disease, are, in fact, not at risk. But let me tell you this. 80% of those incidences of heart disease is due to modifiable risk factors, like high blood pressure, like high cholesterol, like diabetes, and smoking. So, in fact, if you control these four variables, your likelihood of developing heart disease is really low.

What about pills? I know that a lot of people are taking pills to reduce their cholesterol, their bad cholesterol. If you carefully take that pill every day, are you going to really make heart disease something not to worry about?

Let's assume that you are at risk, that in fact you have two or more risk factors. And you take an aspirin, a baby aspirin, 81 milligrams, daily. You take a medication such as a statin, to decrease your LDL cholesterol. You exercise. You eat well. The chances of you developing heart disease go down significantly.

So, Doctor, women feel like, it's not going to happen to us. It might happen to our husband. Might happen to our brother. But that's a bad way to think, isn't it?

It's a terrible way to think. In fact, women are at risk for heart disease their whole lives, if in fact they don't take care of themselves. Women tend to put themselves last. It only requires 30 minutes of exercise three to five days a week, to be protective of your heart.

It doesn't sound like much. And listening to you, I think, I could do that. But I know that I don't always do that.

Well I don't always get to do that. But here's the thing. Climbing up and down the stairs, dancing with your baby, and singing songs, and jumping together, all of these things actually increase your heart rate. And if you do that for 20 minutes at a time. And during the day you actually can do 10 minutes of climbing up and down the stairs. That's 30 minutes of getting your heart rate up. We know you don't need 30 minutes of going to the gym and focusing, though it's better for your mind. We know that we need 30 minutes, in total, of getting your heart rate up.

Well, that seems doable.

It is doable.

Thank you. For Howdini, I'm Lisa Birnbach.

Howdini is life’s little instruction manual, in HD. We’re all about bringing together the top, most respected experts in their fields to help us be the best we can be at all of the little and not-so-little challenges of our complicated lives. Howdini is the place to be for the know-how you want, when you need it. Or maybe it’s the know-how you need, when you want it. Whatever. We’re here to help. So come in and look around, won’t you?

We think you’ll love finding everything you want to learn about in one convenient place, and as we grow and add more categories and more Howdinis, you’ll be doing less surfing and more learning right here. And unlike television, Howdinis aren’t limited by time—we don’t have to break for commercials, and we’re always on.

Who is Howdini?

People often ask us, is there an actual person who is Howdini? And the answer is, it’s kind of like Lassie. Just as there were many Lassies, there are many individuals who are called Howdini. In fact, each of our experts is a Howdini, and, like all those Lassies, they really know their tricks. (Although so far there is no ‘How to tell your master that Timmy is trapped in the old abandoned mine’ segment)

Our gurus are people you know and trust because you’ve been getting advice from them for years, at places like Good Morning America, The Today Show, Money, Prevention, and Food and Wine (to name just a few). Many are best-selling authors. Others, like our medical experts, are respected leaders in their fields.

Howdini History

The first Howdini was Joanna Breen, who left a comfortable career at ABC’s 20/20 to create a how to video website after one too many frustrating experiences with handymen who weren’t that handy. Joanna had traveled the world reporting with Barbara Walters and others on injustice, outrage, and tragedy, but now it was time to turn her talents to dealing with crises closer to home, like what do you do if you drop your diamond ring down the drain. Joanna is the quintessential can-do girl, so she didn’t find the prospect of launching a gigantic website the least bit daunting. (Ok, that last part isn’t entirely true.)

Joanna convinced an old ABC News buddy, Shelley Lewis, to join her. Shelley had supervised roughly 9.7 million helpful how to segments during a long career executive producing television shows like Good Morning America and CNN’s American Morning. A self-described “info-pig” who loves all kinds of information programming, she is never happier than when she’s learning an amazing new tip that she can annoy share with everyone she knows. Needless to say, Howdini was a dream gig for her. A career woman, a wife, a mother, and author of two books, Shelley considers herself equally challenged by all the facets of her life.

Joanna and Shelley were introduced to marketing executive Alison Provost by a mutual friend who knew that Alison had what they needed - entrepreneurial experience, patience, and a checkbook that still had checks in it. Joanna and Shelley could see right away that Alison should join Howdini. They figured that they would take care of the programming, and Alison would bring trustworthy sponsors to help pay the bills. It took Alison significantly longer to be convinced, maybe because she was crazy busy running a marketing firm called PowerPact, which she continues to oversee while serving as the biggest of big cheeses at Howdini. But whether it’s playing Suduko or launching a new business in a field she knows little about, Alison loves the challenge of a good puzzle, It wasn’t long before she began dropping obscure internet terms like “user-interface” and “googlebot” into casual conversation.

What’s Next for Howdini?

Our goals are modest. Complete and total domination of the internet, crushing Google, Microsoft, and any other punks who get in our way. (Hey, it’s a just a goal.) But until then, we will content ourselves making the best, most professional, most credible how to videos you can find anywhere. We want to help you solve your career issues, your parenting problems, your money troubles. We want you to be more glamorous, healthier, and less stressed out. We want you to check Howdini every day for fun, interesting, useful advice from experts you know and trust.

We want to make Howdini the community you love to be part of every day, To do that, we need to hear from you. Please share your suggestions, rate and comment on the Howdini videos, and the blog, (The Howdini blog). Tell us what you’d like us to create for you.

And then, when we’ve achieved that, it’s back to working on complete and total domination of the internet.

Add a CommentComments

There are no comments yet. Be the first one and get the conversation started!

Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy

Heart Disease

Get Email Updates

Heart Disease Guide

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.


Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!