Heart Disease Risks and Prevention
Scott & White cardiologist Gregory J. Dehmer, MD, discusses risk factors and prevention for heart disease.
Risks and Symptoms
Cardiovascular disease is still the nation’s number one killer. Despite more education and better treatments, the battle to control this important disease is not over. According to the American Heart Association, more than one million Americans will suffer a heart attack this year.
Risk factors include:
- Age (older than 45 for men and older than 55 for women)
- High blood pressure
- High blood cholestorol
- Lack of physical activity
- Family history of chest pain, heart disease or stroke
Making even some changes to your lifestyle can have a big impact on your risk of cardiovascular disease, and you are never too young to start thinking about heart health. Teach your kids the importance of a healthy lifestyle, including diet and exercise. Make improving heart health a family affair, and work together to win the war against cardiovascular disease.
American Heart Association created these simple ABCs of heart prevention. Select a topic for more tips.
A AVOID TOBACCOA AVOID TOBACCO
Cigarette smokers are two-to-three times more likely to die from coronary heart disease than non-smokers. The health benefits start almost immediately, and, within a few years of quitting, your risk of stroke and coronary artery disease are similar to non-smokers.
Get help quitting at enuffofthepuff.sw.org.
B BECOME MORE ACTIVEB BECOME MORE ACTIVE
Physical inactivity is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, and even 30 minutes of exercise four to five days a week can have an impact on your heart.
C CHOOSE GOOD NUTRITIONC CHOOSE GOOD NUTRITION
A heart healthy diet not only can help you fight the battle of the bulge, but can also keep your heart in shape. Certain changes to your diet — cutting down on fried foods, lowering your salt intake, eating more fruits and vegetables — can lower some patients’ dependence on cholesterol-lowering drugs.
Too little vitamin D in your diet can put also your heart at risk. You can add vitamin D to your diet through vitamin supplements, milk, orange juice and fish oil.
Find recommendations and tips for a heart-healthy diet at heart.org »