Your lifestyle may include certain habits or conditions that tend to increase your chance of having a heart attack. These habits or conditions are known as risk factors. Risk factors that you can control include: high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, diabetes, smoking, excess weight, lack of regular exercise, Type-A personality, and stress. It's possible to reduce the chance for developing heart disease and having a heart attack by making dietary and lifestyle changes. While you can control many heart attack risk factors, there are some you cannot. Uncontrollable risk factors include age, gender, and a family history of heart diseases such as high blood pressure, heart attack, or stroke. The incidence of developing heart disease increases with age and is more prevalent in men. Women are believed to be protected from heart disease until menopause, due to the hormone estrogen. However, women increase their chance of having a heart attack by smoking and maintaining a stressful lifestyle. For more information on heart attack risk factors, consult your health care provider.