Can Heart Disease Be Reversed Or Cured
You cant reverse coronary artery disease once you have it. And theres no cure. But lifestyle changes and medications as discussed above can slow or stop the progression. Scientists continue to investigate new medications and therapies every day. For now, there are still reasons to be optimistic:
- You can do a lot to prevent or delay heart disease.
- Treatments can help you live longer and enjoy a vibrant quality of life.
Prevention is key when it comes to heart disease. But like in a relay race, when prevention cant go any further, treatment picks up the baton. Its not always possible to prevent heart disease. This is because some risk factors are out of your control. Plus, we all face limitations to our own prevention efforts. Those limitations might be time, money, community resources or personal responsibilities.
Its important to learn how to prevent heart disease, and take whatever steps you can in that direction. But know theres a safety net of treatments available to you if you need them.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
The knowledge that you can prevent or delay heart disease is empowering. But if your best efforts dont lead to the results you want, you may feel discouraged. Some people check off all the boxes on the prevention list yet still develop heart disease.
Is A Cardiac Arrest The Same Thing As A Heart Attack
A cardiac arrest and a heart attack are both medical emergencies. However, they are not the same thing, and sometimes a heart attack can progress into a cardiac arrest.
During a cardiac arrest, the electrical system that controls your heart rate and rhythm stops working, and the heart stops beating.
When someone has a cardiac arrest, they experience different symptoms and receive different treatments to someone who has a heart attack.
Someone having a cardiac arrest will collapse and have no pulse. They may not breathe properly, or maybe not at all, and they will lose consciousness.
If someone has a cardiac arrest, they need help immediately. Call 000 for an ambulance. While waiting for the ambulance to arrive, begin chest compressions , or use a device called a defibrillator, if available. Once the person gets to hospital, a medical team will treat them.
Healthy Eating And Cardiovascular Disease Risk
Eating a variety of foods is good for our health and can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases, including heart disease.
The Heart Foundation recommends people follow a heart-healthy eating pattern:
- Eat plenty of vegetables, fruit and wholegrains.
- Include a variety of healthy protein-rich foods, especially fish and seafood, legumes , nuts and seeds. Eggs and poultry can also be enjoyed as part of a heart-healthy eating pattern. If you eat red meat, choose lean cuts and limit to one to three times per week.
- Choose unflavoured milk, yoghurt and cheese. If you have heart disease or high cholesterol, choose reduced fat varieties.
- Include healthy fats and oils. Choose nuts, seeds, avocados, olives and their oils for cooking.
- Add herbs and spices to flavour foods, instead of adding salt.
This way of eating is naturally low in unhealthy fats, salt and added sugar. Its rich in wholegrains, fibre, antioxidants and healthy fats.
Check out the Heart Foundation website for a range of resources to help you follow a heart-healthy eating pattern.
For individualised nutrition advice, you can also speak to an Accredited Practising Dietitian.
- keep your bones and muscle strong
- make you feel more confident, happy and relaxed
- help you to sleep better.
If you have had a heart attack, regular physical activity will help you to recover more quickly. If you have diabetes, it will also help you to manage your blood sugar levels.
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Are There Complications Of A Heart Attack
Complications following a heart attack can include:
- Arrhythmia your heart may develop an irregular heartbeat following a heart attack due to damaged heart muscles disrupting electrical signals.
- Heart failure your heart may have ongoing difficulty pumping enough blood, due to its muscles being too weak or stiff.
- Cardiogenic shock where your whole body goes into shock from extensive heart muscle damage.
- Heart rupture this is a rare but serious complication in which the hearts muscles, walls or valves split apart.
These can be dangerous if untreated, but your healthcare team will help to manage them if they occur.
Did This Study Just Look At Healthy Men
These male subjects were all free of disease when the study launched in the late 1990s. A separate analysis was conducted among more than 7,000 men with hypertension and high cholesterol in 1997, which found that the risk reduction of each healthy behavior was similar to that of men without either condition.
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Check You Blood Pressure
You must check your blood pressure as it is an important aspect of a heart disease. Monitoring should start as early as the age of 18 – you can measure it every two to four years. If you are between 18 to 39 years of age, you can check your blood pressure every year. Cholesterol is also getting very important, especially in those who have a history of young heart attack in the family, parents or siblings.
Another Reason To Reduce Your Pounds
Excess body fat isnt just dead weight. Fat cells release many substances that increase inflammation, promote insulin resistance and contribute to atherosclerosis, the hardening of arteries. So it should be no surprise that obesity is among the leading causes of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. That is especially the case for people who have a lot of visceral fat, the type that accumulates deep inside your abdomen around your internal organs. Visceral fat is much more dangerous than subcutaneous fat, the kind that resides just below your skin . Its not entirely clear why but visceral fat is far more toxic to your body and especially to your cardiovascular system. An easy way to get a sense of the amount of visceral fat you carry and your risk is by measuring your waist circumference.
The American Heart Association defines an optimal B.M.I. as one that is below 25, which is the threshold for being overweight. But keep in mind that B.M.I. is a blunt instrument. People who have a lot of muscle mass, for example, might have a B.M.I. over 25 even if they have a low body fat percentage. And people who are thin but carrying a lot of visceral fat might have a B.M.I. under 25 even though they are technically high risk.
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Five Ways To Reduce Heart Attack Risk By 80 Percent
If you could do five things to reduce your heart-attack risk by 80 percent, would you take a step to start on this path?
That’s a challenge posed by Nancy K. Sweitzer, MD, PhD, director of the University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center and professor of medicine, UArizona College of Medicine – Tucson. She cites a study from Swedens Karolinska Institute, which observed 20,721 healthy Swedish men, ages 45 to 79, for 11 years. The study, published in Journal of the American College of Cardiology, noted that men could reduce their heart attack risk by 80 percent if they made five lifestyle changes. I believe these also apply to women and Americans, said Dr. Sweitzer.
Reasons Of Rise In Heart Attack
“Reasons for the rise in heart attack cases differ from person to person. The major reasons are poor lifestyle choices and habits. Stress is another reason for heart attack, a sudden stress can cause a cardiac issue called cardiomyopathy. The stressrelated Cardiomyopathy has no association with artery blockages which leads to a heart attack. The big risk factor for heart attack is the increasing incidences of Type 2 diabetes, cholesterol, hypertension, increase screen time, lesser physical activity, family history, obesity etc. One must get regular check-ups done irrespective of age. Mental health also plays a huge role in the contribution of heart diseases. In case of major or minor blocks in the heart coronary angiograms can help in detection,” says Dr Ankur Phatarpekar, Interventional Cardiologist, Symbiosis Hospital, Dadar.
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What Could We Save If More Of Us Make These Lifestyle Choices
- 655,000 The number of Americans who died from heart disease during 2019. Thats 1 in every 4 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women.
- 365,000 the number of people who die from coronary heart disease, the most common type of heart disease it is caused by a blockage in the coronary artery.
- 805,000 the number of heart attacks each year in America.
- $219 billion the costs of coronary artery disease alone, including health care services, medications and lost productivity.
Take the Heart Series Risk Assessment to learn your risk of having a heart attack during the next 10 years.
For more health information, please visit our Heart Health page.
For physician appointment information, please call 520-MyHeart .
These Are The Most Effective Ways To Protect Yourself
Here are some alarming statistics about heart attacks:
- Every 40 seconds, someone in the United States has a heart attack.
- Every year, about 805,000 Americans have heart attacks, 75% of which are first-time attacks.
- The average age of a first heart attack among men: 65.
However, the most troubling fact about heart attacks is that many people don’t take steps to protect themselves, says Dr. Deepak L. Bhatt, executive director of interventional cardiovascular programs at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital Heart & Vascular Center. “Reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease is the best way to guard against heart attacks,” he says. “There are simple ways to do this, but unfortunately, many people still don’t follow them as they should.”
Here’s a look at five ways you can protect yourself from cardiovascular disease, and thus possible heart attacks, and avoid being another statistic.
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- Research health conditions
- Prepare for a doctor’s visit or test
- Find the best treatments and procedures for you
- Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
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Manage The Blood Pressure Levels:
This is also one of the best tips on how to prevent heart attack naturally that people should follow. Persistent high blood pressure can put your heart and your arteries under extra strain, making the risks of heart attacks increased unintentionally.
People can reduce the risk of high blood pressure levels by moderating the daily consumption of alcohol, following a healthy diet, doing exercise regularly, and maintaining healthy weight.
If You Drink Do It In Moderation
Drinking a little alcohol, such as an average of one per day, is okay. Once you start drinking more than two drinks per day, your risk goes up very sharply.
Your goal: Don’t drink alcohol or do it in moderation.
How to achieve it:
- Have no more than one glass of alcohol a day.
- Consider red wine as your first choice, which some studies suggest might help prevent heart disease and stroke.
- Watch your portion sizes. A standard-sized drink is a 5-ounce glass of wine, 12-ounce beer, or 1.5-ounce glass of hard liquor.
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Tobacco Smoking And Cardiovascular Disease Risk
As well as causing cancer, tobacco smoking affects the arteries that supply blood to your heart and other parts of your body. It reduces the amount of oxygen in your blood and damages your artery walls. Tobacco smoking also makes your blood stickier, causing blood cells to clump together. This slows blood flow through your arteries and makes blockages more common. Blockages may cause a heart attack or stroke.
Stopping smoking is one of the best things you can do for your health. Every cigarette that you dont smoke is doing you good. The most effective way to stop smoking is with a combination of:
- stop-smoking medicines such as nicotine replacement therapy.
If you are ready to quit smoking or thinking about quitting smoking, talk to your doctor about ways to help you give up smoking. You can also call the Quitline on Tel. or visit the Quit website.
When Do I Do If Someone Else Has A Heart Attack
An easy-to-use device called an AED is available in many public places and can be used by almost anyone to treat cardiac arrest. This device works by shocking the heart back into a normal rhythm.
Hereâs how to use an AED:
1. Check responsiveness
- For an adult or older child, shout and shake the person to confirm whether theyâre unconscious. Do not use AED on a conscious person.
- For an infant or young child, pinch their skin. Never shake a young child.
- Check breathing and pulse. If absent or uneven, prepare to use the AED as soon as possible.
2. Prepare to use AED
- Make sure the person is in a dry area and away from puddles or water.
- Check for body piercings or outline of an implanted medical device, such as a pacemaker or implantable defibrillator.
- AED pads must be placed at least 1 inch away from piercings or implanted devices.
3. Use AED
For newborns, infants, and children up to age 8, use a pediatric AED, if possible. If not, use an adult AED.
- Turn on the AED.
- Plug in connector, if necessary.
- Make sure no one is touching the person.
- Push the âAnalyzeâ button.
- If a shock is advised, check again to make sure no one is touching the person.
- Push the âShockâ button.
- Start or resume continue compressions.
- Follow AED prompts.
4. Continue CPR
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Use Aspirin When Appropriate
Until now, the ACC and AHA have recommended that most people at higher risk of having a first heart event take low-dose aspirin as a way to lower inflammation, which can prompt heart attacks and strokes.
But recent studies have questioned the safety of daily aspirin, even in low doses, and the latest guidelines back off that advice. Taking aspirin regularly can increase the risk of bleeding in the intestinal tract, especially for vulnerable people, like those with ulcers. Reflecting the latest data, the new guidelines recommend aspirin only after other heart disease risk factors including cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, weight and exercise have been addressed. Aspirin should not be recommended for people over 70, the new advice says, since the risk of bleeding outweighs any benefit the over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drug might provide.
What Should You Do If You Feel Like You Are Having A Heart Attack
Symptoms of a heart attack include sudden onset of chest discomfort, chest pain, jaw pain and shortness of breath. It is important to call an ambulance immediately if you feel any of these aforementioned symptoms. Lack of blood supply to the heart is the main cause of a heart attack, and time is muscle, so every minute of delay in seeking urgent medical care can be life-threatening. To decrease the risk of fatality, immediate medical intervention is required.
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Take Charge Of Your Medical Conditions
If you have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or diabetes, you can take steps to lower your risk for heart disease.
Your health care team should test your blood levels of cholesterol at least once every 4 to 6 years. If you have already been diagnosed with high cholesterol or have a family history of the condition, you may need to have your cholesterol checked more often. Talk with your health care team about this simple blood test. If you have high cholesterol, medicines and lifestyle changes can help reduce your risk for heart disease.
High blood pressure usually has no symptoms, so have it checked on a regular basis. Your health care team should measure your blood pressure at least once every 2 years if you have never had high blood pressure or other risk factors for heart disease.
If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, also called hypertension, your health care team will measure your blood pressure more often to make sure you have the condition under control. Talk with your health care team about how often you should check your blood pressure. You can check it at a doctors office, at a pharmacy, or at home.
If you have high blood pressure, your health care team might recommend some changes in your lifestyle, such as lowering the sodium in your diet your doctor may also prescribe medicine to help lower your blood pressure.
Medicines To Prevent Heart Attacks
Depending on your medical history, your doctor may also recommend certain medicines to reduce your heart attack risk.
For example, if you have high cholesterol, your doctor may prescribe a statin to help to lower levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides in your blood, which may reduce your risk of atherosclerosis .
Additional reporting by Ashley Welch
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What To Do If You Or Someone Else May Be Having A Heart Attack
- Don’t ignore or attempt to tough out the symptoms of a heart attack for more than five minutes. If you don’t have access to emergency medical services, have a neighbor or a friend drive you to the nearest hospital. Drive yourself only as a last resort, and realize that it places you and others at risk when you drive under these circumstances.
- Chew and swallow an aspirin, unless you are allergic to aspirin or have been told by your doctor never to take aspirin. But seek emergency help first, such as calling 911.
- Take nitroglycerin, if prescribed. If you think you’re having a heart attack and your doctor has previously prescribed nitroglycerin for you, take it as directed. Do not take anyone else’s nitroglycerin, because that could put you in more danger.
- Begin CPR if the person is unconscious. If you’re with a person who might be having a heart attack and he or she is unconscious, tell the 911 dispatcher or another emergency medical specialist. You may be advised to begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation . If you haven’t received CPR training, doctors recommend skipping mouth-to-mouth rescue breathing and performing only chest compressions . The dispatcher can instruct you in the proper procedures until help arrives.
- If an automated external defibrillator is available and the person is unconscious, begin CPR while the device is retrieved and set up. Attach the device and follow instructions that will be provided by the AED after it has evaluated the person’s condition.