Understanding risk factors

A woman dancing

Risk factors are things that can raise your risk of developing heart conditions.

The more risk factors you have, the more likely you are to develop heart and circulatory diseases like heart attack or stroke.

With the help of patients and healthcare professionals, we've created a series of leaflets about the main risk factors of heart and circulatory diseases. We explain what they are, how they happen and how they can lead to heart attack or stroke.

The good news is that there are many things you can do to reduce your risk. Making small changes to your daily routine can make a big difference to your heart health - which in the long term could save your life.

Understanding physical activity

This short leaflet explains why being inactive increases your risk of heart and circulatory diseases. It tells you how active you need to be to help your heart, and gives you tips for building physical activity into your everyday life.

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To get you moving...

Understanding smoking

This short leaflet explains how smoking increases your risk of heart and circulatory diseases, and describes the many benefits of quitting. It also gives you tips for quitting and tells you how to find people who can help you.

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Quit today...

Understanding stressUnderstanding stress leaflet cover

This short leaflet explains the link between stress and unhealthy habits that increase your risk of heart and circulatory diseases. It also gives you tips to help you lower your stress levels to keep your body and mind healthy.

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You can...

  • hear from Colin on how he managed his stress
  • find out more about depression and other mental health problems from Mind

Understanding blood pressure

This short leaflet is for people who have been told they have high blood pressure, or are at risk of having it. It explains what high blood pressure is, what can cause it, and what you can do to lower it.

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To find out more you can...

Understanding cholesterol

This is a short leaflet for people with high cholesterol. We explain why it's important to lower your cholesterol and give you simple tips for keeping your heart healthy. 

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To find out more you can...

Understanding Type 2 diabetesunderstanding diabetes

This short leaflet explains how diabetes affects your heart and suggests some easy actions you can take to keep your heart healthy.

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To find out more you can...

Understanding your weight

This short leaflet explains how being overweight increases your risk of heart and circulatory diseases, and why where you carry excess weight is important. It tells you how to measure your weight and gives you tips for keeping a healthy weight.  

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For more ways to keep your weight healthy...