Ways To Reduce The Risk Of Heart Attack

Article Source: Health And Fitness Journal

attack occurs when the blood supply to part of the heart is interrupted
and all we should avoid it in our life or at least reduce the risk of
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You can reduce your risk
of having a heart attack even if you already have coronary heart
disease (CHD) or have had a previous heart attack.

Stop Smoking


smoking greatly increases the risk of fatal and nonfatal heart attacks
in both men and women. It also increases the risk of a second heart
attack among survivors. Women who smoke and use oral contraceptives
have an even greater risk than smoking alone. The good news is that
quitting smoking greatly reduces the risk of heart attack. One year
after quitting, the risk drops to about one-half that of current
smokers and gradually returns to normal in persons without heart
disease. Even among persons with heart disease, the risk also drops
sharply one year after quitting smoking and it continues to decline
over time but the risk does not return to normal.

Lower High Blood Pressure


blood pressure makes the heart work harder. It increases the risk of
developing heart disease, as well as kidney disease and stroke. Also
called hypertension, it usually has no symptoms. Once developed, it
typically lasts a lifetime.

To help prevent or control high blood pressure, you should:

  • Lose excess weight
  • Become physically active
  • Follow a heart healthy eating plan, including foods lower in salt and sodium
  • Limit alcohol intake
  • If you are prescribed a medication, take it as directed.

Reduce High Blood Cholesterol

level of cholesterol in the bloodstream greatly affects the risk of
developing heart disease. The higher the level of blood cholesterol,
the greater the risk for heart disease or heart attack.

When there is too much cholesterol (a fat-like substance) in the blood,
it builds up in the walls of arteries. Over time, this buildup causes
arteries to become narrowed, and blood flow to the heart is slowed or
blocked. If the blood supply to a portion of the heart is completely
cut off, a heart attack results.

Various factors that affect cholesterol levels are: diet, weight, physical acitivity, age, gender and heredity.

blood cholesterol itself does not cause symptoms. You may not know if
your blood cholesterol level is too high. So, it’s important to have
your cholesterol measured. Adults age 20 or older should have their
cholesterol checked at least once every 5 years. It’s best to have a
blood test called a lipoprotein profile. This test measures total
cholesterol, “good” and “bad” cholesterol, as well as triglycerides,
another form of fat in the blood.

High cholesterol is treated
with lifestyle changes: a heart healthy eating plan, physical activity,
and loss of excess weight. However, if those do not lower it enough,
you need to consult your doctor for medications.

Aim for a Healthy Weight


healthy weight is crucial for a long and healthy life. Being overweight
or obese increases your risk of heart attack. It also increases your
risk of developing high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, and
diabetes-each of which also increases your chance of having a heart
attack. If you are overweight, even a small weight loss, just 10
percent of your current weight, will help to lower your risk of
developing those diseases.

It is important to maintain a healthy
weight in order to stay healthy. Some adults need to avoid gaining
weight and many need to lose weight. Losing weight and keeping it off
depends on a change of lifestyle that combines sensible eating with
regular physical activity, not a temporary effort to drop pounds
quickly. If you need to lose excess weight, talk to your health care
provider about developing an action plan, which includes a
hearty-healthy, low-calorie, nutritious eating plan and physical

Be Physically Active Each Day

physically active reduces the risk of heart-related problems, including
heart attack. Physical activity can improve cholesterol levels, help
control high blood pressure and diabetes, and manage weight. It also
increases physical fitness, promotes psychological well-being and
self-esteem, and reduces depression and anxiety.

Those who have
already had a heart attack also benefit greatly from being physically
active. Typically, most hospitals have a cardiac (or heart)
rehabilitation program. A health care provider can offer advice about a
suitable program.

To protect your heart, you only need to do 30
minutes of a moderate-intensity activity on most and, preferably, all
days of the week. If 30 minutes is too much at one time, you can break
it up into periods of at least 10 minutes each.

If you have been inactive, you should start slowly to increase your physical activity.

you have coronary heart disease, it is very important to check with you
health care provider before starting a physical activity program. This
is especially important if you are over age 55, have been inactive, or
have diabetes or another medical problem. Your health care provider can
give you advice on how rigorous the exercise should be.

Manage Diabetes

affects more than 16 million Americans. It damages blood vessels,
including the coronary arteries of the heart. Up to 75 percent of those
with diabetes develop heart and blood vessel diseases. Diabetes also
can lead to stroke, kidney failure, and other problems.

occurs when the body is not able to use sugar as it should for growth
and energy. The body gets sugar when it changes food into glucose (a
form of sugar). A hormone called insulin is needed for the glucose to
be taken up and used by the body.

Because of the link with heart
disease, it is important for those with diabetes to prevent or control
heart disease and its risk factors. Besides diabetes, major risk
factors for heart disease include smoking, high blood pressure, high
blood cholesterol, physical inactivity, and overweight and obesity.

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Article Source: Health And Fitness Journal
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