How Bad Is Smoking For My Health
Smokers have a higher heart disease risk than never-smokers, and two to three times the risk of death. The more you smoke, the higher your risk of death.
Quit-smoking medications like varenicline and bupropion , and nicotine replacement therapies, are generally safe and can effectively help people quit smoking..
Keep Stress To A Minimum
Stress raises your blood pressure. It hampers your ability to get a good nights sleep. And, it can cause you to indulge in many dietary and lifestyle activities that also contribute to heart disease. While its unlikely you can eliminate all stress from your life, its best to keep it to a minimum. Try to eliminate or reduce common triggers. And, look for healthy coping mechanisms like yoga or meditation.
How Serious Is Heart Disease In The Us
One person dies every 36 seconds from heart disease in America. That accounts for one in every four deaths, or for 655,000 people, per year. Forty-eight percent of adults in America have some form of heart disease, but at least 80 percent of these conditions are preventable. The most common preventable factors include obesity, smoking, inactivity and a poor diet.
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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.
Hope After Heart Attack
What is undo it?Ornish Lifestyle Medicine at Geisinger Wyoming ValleyWhat is the Ornish diet?Dr. Bryan Martin, DO, is a cardiologist at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Wilkes-Barre. For more information about Ornish Lifestyle Medicine, visit Geisinger.org or call 570-808-7973.
Geisinger Health Plan may refer collectively to Geisinger Health Plan, Geisinger Quality Options Inc., and Geisinger Indemnity Insurance Company, unless otherwise noted. Geisinger Gold Medicare Advantage HMO, PPO, and HMO D-SNP plans are offered by Geisinger Health Plan/Geisinger Indemnity Insurance Company, health plans with a Medicare contract. Continued enrollment in Geisinger Gold depends on annual contract renewal. Geisinger Health Plan Kids and Geisinger Health Plan Family are offered by Geisinger Health Plan in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services . Geisinger Health Plan is part of Geisinger, an integrated health care delivery and coverage organization.
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Get More Fiber Into Your Diet
Got veggies? The American Heart Association recommends having a few meatless meals each week and increasing the amount of fiber and whole grains in your diet. This is because most of the cholesterol-raising saturated fat in the American diet comes from animal meat and full-fat dairy products. Eating more vegetarian fare may help lower your cholesterol and reduce your risk for heart disease. There are lots of ways to incorporate more fiber in your diet. Jill Nussinow, RD, suggests eating:
- Whole grains such as oatmeal, barley, quinoa, and brown rice
- Beans and lentils
- Nuts, seeds, and fruit
- Soy products, in moderation
“Remember, plant foods contain fiber, and animal foods do not. Conversely, animal foods contain cholesterol, and plant foods do not,” Nussinow says.
Fight Inflammation To Help Prevent Heart Disease
You probably already know that high cholesterol and blood pressure are major risk factors for heart disease. But do you know about inflammation? Recent research shows it plays a key role, and that working to reduce it can prevent heart attacks and strokes.
Just like were targeting blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose, we also need to target inflammation, says Erin Michos, M.D., M.H.S., associate director of preventive cardiology for the Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease. We all should be making an effort to reduce chronic inflammation in our bodies.
To protect your heart from the damaging effects of inflammation, heres what you need to know.
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Am I At Risk For Heart Disease
Anyone can get heart disease, but youre at higher risk if you:
- Have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or diabetes
- Are overweight or have obesity
- Don’t get enough physical activity
- Don’t eat a healthy diet
Your age and family history also affect your risk for heart disease. Your risk is higher if:
- Youre a woman over age 55
- Youre a man over age 45
- Your father or brother had heart disease before age 55
- Your mother or sister had heart disease before age 65
But the good news is there’s a lot you can do to prevent heart disease.
Keep Your Blood Pressure Under Control
You can keep your blood pressure under control by eating a healthy diet low in saturated fat, exercising regularly and, if needed, taking medicine to lower your blood pressure.
Your target blood pressure should be below 140/90mmHg. If you have high blood pressure, ask a GP to check your blood pressure regularly.
Read more about high blood pressure.
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Putting The Cardio In Cardiovascular Health
Along with eating better and stressing less, exercise plays a major role in the prevention of heart disease. Your heart is whats known as a muscular organ. It behaves much like other muscles in your body in that it gets stronger when you use it, and weaker when you dont. In fact, a sedentary lifestyle is a major contributor to heart attacks.
So how much do you need? The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as well as some fitness organizations, call for 30 minutes a day, five days a week to ward off heart disease. In truth, its less important what you do or how long you do it for, than the mere act of doing something. This issue isnt whether you went for a walk around the block, ran a marathon, or lifted weights at the gym, says Dr. Baranchuk. The guy Im worried about is the one still sitting on his couch, eating chips and watching TV.
In fact, a team of Australian physiologists found that as little as four minutes of exercise, four times daily, can have a positive effect of peoples vascular function, blood sugar control, and body compositionall risk factors for heart disease. The catch? You have to Go. Hard. Known as high-intensity interval training, or HIIT, this form of exercise pushes your cardio capacity to the max, with moves like jumping jacks, stair running and the like. Short it is, but sweet its not. Still, youre getting a major heart-health bang for your proverbial four-minute buck.
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Dont Ignore Changes In How You Feel
Signs of a heart attack often come on suddenly. But sometimes, they develop slowly hours, days, or even weeks before a heart attack happens.
Talk to your doctor if you feel unusually tired for several days, or if you develop any new health problems . It’s also important to talk to your doctor if existing health issues are bothering you more than usual.
If youve had a heart attack in the past, its important to know that symptoms of a new heart attack might be different from your last one so talk with your doctor if you have any concerns about how you feel.
Get Necessary Medical Help
Regular checkups and physical exams are vital to staying on top of changes to your health, and if you find out that cardiovascular disease has already started to set in, you should talk to your doctor about treatment options to help you manage it. This might include daily statins to lower your cholesterol or medications that keep your blood pressure down.
In more severe cases of coronary heart disease, such as narrowed or blocked arteries, your doctor may recommend interventional cardiology procedures like angioplasty.
If heart disease is caught early, the right medical care can save and prolong your life, so don’t procrastinate when it comes to seeing your doctor and getting yourself checked out.
Many factors can affect your risk of developing heart disease, including genetics. There’s no way to completely safeguard against heart problems, but there are many things you can do for yourself and your family to practice heart-healthy habits and minimize that risk. Your heart does so much to keep you alive and active, so show it some love and take care of it as best you can!
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Stay At A Healthy Weight
People who are overweight or have obesity are at an increased risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes.If youre overweight or have obesity, losing 5 to 10 percent of your body weight can help lower your risk of heart disease. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, that would mean losing 10 to 20 pounds. Find out how to control your weight.
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Microgreens Help Fight Heart Disease
Immature greens found to have 40 times more vitamins than mature greens.
Yes, weve all heard it from our mothers: Eat your greens because theyre good for you. As children, there was nothing we dreaded more than the sight of leafy green veggies piled on our plates. As adults, we know theyre good for us, but it can still be challenging to get enough leafy greens in our diet. A staggering 87% of American adults fail to meet the government-recommended vegetable intake. Thats a lot of people not listening to their mothers.
According to a new study, theres something more important than eating our greens: microgreens. Microgreens are the seedlings of herbs and plants that can be eaten at just one-two weeks during immaturity. Instead of waiting until the plants or herbs are fully matured, the seedlings can be eaten. Microgreens are typically used as a garnish or decorative element in fancy restaurants, but they have become popular in recent years as a supplement to the veggies in our diet. With the latest research, theyve taken on a much more vital role.
However, heres the kicker: the microgreens contained much higher levels of antioxidants than the mature cabbages. The mice who ate microgreens with a high-fat diet had much lower LDL cholesterol levels than the mice who ate mature cabbage.
What Are The Heart Disease Risk Factors That I Cannot Change
- Age. Your risk of heart disease increases as you get older. Men age 45 and older and women age 55 and older have a greater risk.
- Sex. Some risk factors may affect heart disease risk differently in women than in men. For example, estrogen provides women some protection against heart disease, but diabetes raises the risk of heart disease more in women than in men.
- Race or ethnicity. Certain groups have higher risks than others. African Americans are more likely than whites to have heart disease, while Hispanic Americans are less likely to have it. Some Asian groups, such as East Asians, have lower rates, but South Asians have higher rates.
- Family history. You have a greater risk if you have a close family member who had heart disease at an early age.
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Who Is Most At Risk
You are more likely to be hospitalized or to die from heart diseases and conditions if you are a:
- man who is 45 years of age or older
- woman who is 55 years of age or older
There is also a higher risk of heart disease for women who:
- take birth control pills
- this increases the risk of high blood pressure and blood clots, but the risk is even greater if you also:
- smoke and are over 35 years old
- already have high blood pressure
- already have a blood clotting problem
People with lower incomes are more likely to develop heart diseases. This is because they are more susceptible to risk factors associated with social disadvantage, such as:
- high blood pressure
Some ethnic groups tend to have very high rates of heart disease. This is due to family history or cultural reasons, including diet and physical inactivity. These groups include Aboriginal Canadians and Canadians whose origins are:
- maintaining a healthy weight
- quitting smoking
If you have already had a heart attack or stroke, these changes can reduce the risk of having another.
Also follow your health care provider’s plans for managing your heart disease or condition.
How To Prevent A Heart Attack
Managing your heart disease risk factors and making healthy lifestyle choices can help you prevent a heart attack.
Ira Yapanda/Shutterstock Everyday Health
There are also modifiable risk factors, such as smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, and being overweight or obese, that can make a big difference in heart disease risk. The good news is that reducing these major risks for heart disease can help prevent future heart attacks.
Ways To Fight Heart Disease And Live Longer
Your heart never stops working for you. It’s always there, working as hard as it can, beating tirelessly and keeping your blood pumping, circulating oxygen and nutrients throughout your body. But sometimes the unthinkable happens, and heart disease prevents your most important muscle from doing its job.
As unpleasant as it is to think about, heart disease is one of the top causes of death for men and women, and pretending it doesn’t exist isn’t going to reduce the risk of it affecting you or the people you love.
The best way to deal with the risk of heart disease is to face it head-on proactively and take whatever steps you need to lower your risk factors, maintain awareness of your heart health and stop incipient heart disease in its tracks.
Whether you’re sure you’re fit and healthy or are already at risk of developing cardiovascular problems, it’s never too late to start making the health of your heart a priority. Choose now to develop habits that will keep your heart beating strong for a long time to come.
Aspirin: Good Or Bad For Your Heart
You probably remember that saying, An aspirin a day keeps the doctor away. Well, it turns out things arent that simple. The recommendations on aspirin for heart health have been reversed, says Dr. Shah, acknowledging the American Heart Associations revised position in 2019, suggesting that aspirin not be taken for heart disease without explicit doctor approval.
Heres the good part about aspirin: Heart disease is caused by the buildup of plaque in your arteries. When plaque breaks loose from an arterial wall or ruptures, a blood clot forms. If the clot is big enough, it can cut off blood supply to parts of the body, leading to a heart attack or stroke. Aspirin is a blood thinner, so it helps prevent such clots.
Heres the bad part: Just blanket putting everyone on aspirineven if you are someone with no risk factors for heart diseaseraises the risk of bleeding, so we no longer recommend it, says Dr. Shah. Its not a question of whether or not aspirin is effective, its an issue of benefits versus risks.
If you do have risk factors for heart disease or you have a history of heart attacks or strokes, talk with your doctor about whether taking aspirin is advisable. If so, youre best off taking a low dose of 81 mg, or a baby aspirin, according to the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio.
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Putting It All Together
You can help prevent heart disease by doing four key things and making them into habits:
Strong studies make it possible to link reductions in risk to these habits. Following a healthy lifestyle may prevent over 80% of cases of coronary artery disease, 50% of ischemic strokes, 80% of sudden cardiac deaths, and 72% of premature deaths related to heart disease. In other words, a healthy lifestyle is a good investment in a longer, healthier life.