Prevention of Heart disease


Prevention list: Methods of prevention of Heart disease mentioned in various sources includes those listed below. This prevention information is gathered from various sources, and may be inaccurate or incomplete. None of these methods guarantee prevention of Heart disease.

Prevention of Heart disease: Weight loss also reduces the risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels. Even a modest weight loss of 10 to 20 pounds can bring positive changes. And the psychological boost from losing weight, such as improved self-image and greater social interaction, should not be ignored. 1

Daily physical activity can help prevent heart disease and stroke by strengthening your heart muscle, lowering your blood pressure, raising your high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels (good cholesterol) and lowering low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels (bad cholesterol), improving blood flow, and increasing your heart's working capacity. 2

What can I do to prevent heart and blood vessel problems?

  • Keep your blood sugar and blood pressure as close to normal as you can.

  • Keep blood cholesterol and other blood fats as close to normal as you can.

  • Take your diabetes medicines at the same times each day.

  • Take your heart pills and blood pressure pills as your doctor tells you.

  • Ask your doctor if you should take an aspirin each day to help protect your heart.

  • Follow the healthy eating plan you work out with your doctor or dietitian.
Follow a healthy eating plan.

  • Don't smoke.

  • Tell your doctor right away if you think you have any signs of heart or blood vessel problems. Symptoms of heart and blood vessel problems can be shortness of breath; dizziness; pain in the chest, arms, shoulder, or back; sudden loss of sight; trouble talking;
    Choose an activity you like and stay active.
    or numbness or weakness in one arm or one leg. You also may feel very tired and have swollen ankles or feet. See What are the warning signs of a stroke?

  • Be active a total of 30 minutes most days. Use stairs; park farther from the shopping center. Walk, swim, do housework, or garden. Check with your doctor to know what activities are best for you.

  • Get to a healthy weight.

The research on aspirin is promising: This well-known "wonder drug" may help to both prevent and treat heart attacks. A study of more than 87,000 women found that those who took a low dose of aspirin regularly were less likely to suffer a first heart attack than women who took no aspirin. Women over age 50 appeared to benefit most.

Other recent research suggests that only a tiny daily dose of aspirin may be needed to protect against heart attacks. One study found that, for both women and men, taking only 30 mg of aspirin daily--one-tenth the strength of a regular aspirin--helped prevent heart attacks as effectively as the usual 300 mg dose. The smaller dose also caused less stomach irritation.

Aspirin also reduces the chances that women who have already had a heart attack or stroke will have, or die from, another one. If taken quickly, aspirin may also increase the chances of survival after a heart attack.

Keep in mind, however, that aspirin is a powerful drug with many side effects. It can increase your chances of getting ulcers, kidney disease, liver disease, and a stroke from a hemorrhage. Because of these serious risks, you should not take aspirin to either prevent or treat a heart attack without first discussing it with your doctor.4

Folic acid is also important for women at every age, because it helps prevent heart disease and stroke. However, too much folic acid can mask the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency, which affects one in five people ages 65 to 95 years. So, the recommended level of folic acid does not go above one mg per day. 5

If you have already had a heart attack, aspirin helps to lower the risk of having another one. It also helps to keep arteries open in those who have had a heart bypass or other artery-opening procedure such as coronary angioplasty. But, because of its risks, aspirin is NOT approved by the Food and Drug Administration for preventing heart attacks in healthy people. It may even be harmful for some persons, especially those with no risk of heart disease. Talk to your health care provider about whether taking aspirin is right for you. Be sure not to confuse aspirin with other common pain relieving products such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), or naproxyn sodium (Aleve). 6

1. excerpt from Dieting and Gallstones: NIDDK
2. excerpt from Physical Activity and Weight Control: NIDDK
3. excerpt from Keep your heart and blood vessels healthy: NIDDK
4. excerpt from NHLBI Heart Disease & Women Are You At Risk: NHLBI
5. excerpt from Folic Acid: NWHIC

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