Heart Disease

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for adults in New York City.

You may be at a higher risk for heart disease if you:

  • Use tobacco
  • Have high blood pressure
  • Have high cholesterol
  • Have diabetes
  • Are overweight
  • Live a sedentary lifestyle (physical inactivity)
  • Have a family history of heart disease
  • Are exposed to high levels of air pollution, including secondhand smoke
  • Have stress

Some of these risk factors are easier to change than others.

Keep Your Heart Healthy

Know and Control Your Blood Pressure

Stay Healthy with Diabetes

Adults with diabetes are two times more likely than people without diabetes to have a heart attack or stroke. Uncontrolled diabetes can cause blindness, kidney damage and lower extremity amputations in adults.

Learn more about diabetes and the resources that can help you stay healthy.

Treat Tobacco Use

If you smoke, quitting smoking is an important way to reduce your risk of heart disease and protect those around you. One year after you quit smoking, your risk of having a heart attack will fall significantly.

If you’re not ready to quit, treatment options are still available to help you cut back gradually or avoid smoking when you want to (like at home, work or around friends). Visit NYC Quits to learn more and find resources to help you reach your smoking goals.

Eat and Drink Healthy

There are many steps you can take to make your diet more heart healthy:

For more information on sticking to a heart-healthy diet:

Be Active

Regular physical activity is important for heart health. The benefits of physical activity go beyond helping you keep a healthy weight. They include blood pressure control and stress relief.

Get at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity (such as a brisk walk) each week. Do muscle-strengthening activities (such as weightlifting or push-ups) at least 2 days a week.

You can find opportunities for physical activity through NYC Parks, such as free Shape Up NYC classes. Some parks have outdoor fitness equipment for adults. There are also indoor recreation center memberships available, including discounts for seniors ages 62 and older, veterans, young adults, youth and people with disabilities.

If you're older than 60, you can find heart healthy activities at a nearby older adult center.

For more exercise tips:

Manage Stress

Everyone experiences stress from time to time. Managing stress can be a challenge, but here are some tips that can help you take care of your body and mind:

  • Take a walk with a friend or try a fitness class. Shape Up NYC offers free fitness classes, including yoga, in all five boroughs. Registration is not required.
  • Eat and drink healthy foods and beverages.
  • Plan activities with your partner, children or friends.
  • Talk with people that care about the social issues you might be struggling with.
  • Try to participate in community-based activities around your neighborhood, such as at a house of worship or local park.
  • If you feel overwhelmed, talk to a partner, family member, friend or your health care provider.

Additional Resources

More Information