Regular Aerobic Exercise Can Lower Your Risk Of Heart Disease
Heart disease is the leading killer of both men and women in the United States, causing about 1 in 4 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . Key risk factors for developing heart disease include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes, as well as using tobacco. Though some people are born with a genetic predisposition for heart disease, that doesn’t mean it’s inevitable. You can prevent the onset of heart disease in many ways and keep it from worsening if you have been diagnosed with a specific heart issue. Here are some time-tested heart disease prevention strategies to initiate.
Helpful Tips For Prevention
If you’re concerned about your risk for congestive heart failure, there are a few things you can do to reduce your risk. One is to quit smoking or reduce exposure to second-hand smoke. You can also limit your alcohol consumption. Keep your blood pressure under control by exercising regularly, losing weight if necessary, and eating a healthy diet. Managing your diabetes can also help reduce your risk for heart failure, and limiting and managing stress can help as well.
It is possible to live a healthy life with heart failure as long as you know the symptoms and your risk, and take steps to reduce them.
Modifiable Lifestyle Risk Factors
The association between six modifiable risk factors and incidence of new HF was studied in a prospective cohort of 20,900 men in the Physicians Health Study . Overall, lifetime risk of HF was 13.8% at age 40 years and remained constant through age 70 years. Factors individually associated with a lower lifetime risk of HF included body mass index < 25 kg/m2, never smoking, regular exercise at least five times per week, moderate alcohol intake with at least five drinks per week, consumption of breakfast cereal at least one serving per week, and fruits and vegetables at least four servings per day. There was an inverse and graded relationship between the number of healthy lifestyle factors and lifetime risk of HF. The lifetime risk for HF was approximately one in five among men adhering to none of the desirable lifestyle factors, compared to one in 10 among those adhering to four or more healthy lifestyle factors. An additional analysis of this cohort demonstrated a positive and graded association between red meat consumption and incidence of HF .
These studies demonstrate a significant and graded relationship between the incidence of HF events and modifiable lifestyle factors.
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Health System Strategies To Reduce Readmissions
Identifying health system strategies proven to reduce preventable hospitalization would be valuable to patients, medical providers, and healthcare administrators. A systemic review of interventions implemented to reduce readmissions found that no single intervention alone was associated with lower 30-day readmission risk. Generally, more comprehensive interventions reported greater success. A survey of hospital practices and their association with lower 30-day HF readmission rates found certain strategies such as partnering with community physicians and health systems reduced readmission rates, while other strategies such as informing outpatient providers of discharge or providing a treatment plan to families increased the risk for readmission. Overall, this type of observational data makes determining the causative effects of strategies difficult and further research is warranted.
Other hospital characteristics have been associated with lower readmission risks. Hospitals with higher nurse staffing ratios have a 41% lower odds of receiving Medicare penalties for excessive readmissions while controlling for case-mix and hospital characteritiscs. Hospitals with a greater proportion of patients receiving follow-up care within 7 days of discharge have a lower risk of 30-daymortality and readmission controlling for patient and hospital factors.
S For The Primordial Prevention Of Heart Disease
Four key lifestyle steps can dramatically reduce your chances of developing cardiovascular risk factors and ultimately heart disease:
1. Not smoking
One of the best things you can do for your health is to not use tobacco in any form. Tobacco use is a hard-to-break habit that can slow you down, make you sick, and shorten your life. One way it does this is by contributing to heart disease.
In fact, researchers examining the relationship between cigarette smoking and smoking cessation on mortality during a decades-long perspective study of over 100,000 women found that approximately 64% of deaths among current smokers and 28% of deaths among former smokers were attributable to cigarette smoking.
- This study also reported that much of the excess risk due to smoking may be drastically lowered after quitting. Additionally, the excess risk for all-cause mortalitythat is, death from any causedecreases to the level of a never-smoker 20 years after quitting.
The nicotine that tobacco products deliver is one of the most addictive substances around. That makes tobacco use one of the toughest unhealthy habits to break. But dont get discouraged many smokers do quit! In fact, in the United States today there are more ex-smokers than smokers. Learn more about the hazards of smoking, the benefits of quitting, and tips for quitting from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
2. Maintaining a healthy weight
4. Following a healthy diet
Supportive policy change
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Impact Of Lifestyle On Heart Health
A healthy lifestylegetting regular physical activity, following a heart-healthy food plan , maintaining a healthy weight, and not smokingcan have a tremendous positive impact on heart health and preventing heart failure.
Furthermore, research has shown there’s a gradual reduction in heart failure risk in parallel to the number of healthy lifestyle practices a person adopts. In one Swedish study of more than 33,000 men and 30,000 women, men who adhered to four healthy lifestyle practices had a 62% lower risk of heart failure than men who did not. For women, the risk was 72% lower.
Lifestyle Changes For Heart Attack Prevention
Sounds simple doesn’t it? Heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death in the United States. Stroke is the No. 5 cause of death in the United States.
One of the biggest contributors to these statistics is a lack of commitment to a heart healthy lifestyle. Your lifestyle is not only your best defense against heart disease and stroke, it’s also your responsibility. A heart-healthy lifestyle includes the ideas listed below. By following these simple steps you can reduce all of the modifiable risk factors for heart disease, heart attack and stroke.
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Symptoms Of Heart Disease
Heart disease often does not have any symptoms until your heart and blood vessels are badly damaged. If you have CKD, you and your doctor can watch closely for any signs of heart disease though blood work or monitoring how you feel. Symptoms of heart disease depend on the type of heart disease you have. Some symptoms to look out for are:
- Chest pain
- Pain, numbness, weakness or coldness in your legs or arms
- Pain in the neck, jaw, throat, upper abdomen or back
- Swelling of the legs, ankles and feet
- Irregular heartbeats that feel rapid, pounding or fluttering
- Dizziness, lightheadedness and fainting
Heart disease is easier to treat when caught early, so be sure to tell your doctor if you ever feel symptoms or have concerns about your risk.
Lack Of Fluids May Set Off Processes That Lead To The Development Of Heart Failure
According to the authors, when people drink less fluid and the concentration of serum sodium goes up, the body attempts to conserve water, which then activates processes known to contribute to the development of heart failure.
Heart failure is when the heart isnt pumping as well as it should be. When a person has heart failure, the cells in the body dont get enough blood, which can cause fatigue and shortness of breath, according to the American Heart Association .
To determine if hydration could be a predictor of heart failure 25 years, researchers looked at 15,972 people between the ages of 44 and 66 years old. Participants were evaluated over five visits until age 70 to 90.
Subjects were placed into one of four groups according their average serum sodium concentration level, which was based on two visits during the first three years of the study: 135 to 139.5, 140 to 141.5, 142 to 143.5, and 144 to 146 millimoles per liter . For each sodium group, the researchers then analyzed the proportion of people who developed heart failure and left ventricular hypertrophy at visit five . The left ventricle is the hearts main pumping chamber, and when the walls of the chamber get thicker it can be a precursor to a heart failure diagnosis.
Every 1 mmol/L increase in serum sodium concentration was associated with a 20 percent increased risk of developing left ventricular hypertrophy and an 11 percent increased risk of heart failure, 25 years later.
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C History Part : Competing Diagnoses That Can Mimic Heart Failure
The diagnosis of heart failure can be challenging because of the nonspecific nature of the presenting symptoms. It is not uncommon for patients to receive multiple courses of antibiotics for suspected pneumonia, or to receive bronchodilators for suspected asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease before the accurate diagnosis of heart failure is established.
In other cases, many patients with lower extremity edema are falsely assumed to have heart failure, when in fact there may be an underlying nephrotic syndrome, cirrhosis, chronic venous stasis, or an adverse medication effect . Conversely, other medical conditions may present with signs and symptoms that overlap with heart failure and should be ruled out . A thorough medical history and physical examination followed by targeted laboratory or imaging testing can often help establish the diagnosis.
Optimizing Medical Therapy To Improve Outcomes And Reduce Hospitalizations
Despite the challenges in identifying factors that predict readmission, a strong foundation exists for the use of evidence-based medical therapies to improve outcomes and reduce the hospitalization burden for HF patients. Therapies that reduce hospitalizations should be expected to reduce readmissions as well. Increasingly, hospitalization and readmissions are reported as primary or secondary outcomes of randomized clinical trials. One of the earliest trials from the Digitalis Investigators Group found a 6% absolute risk reduction in hospitalization for digoxin over an average follow-up of 37 months. Although the beta-blockers were not approved for HF at the time, more recent observational data suggest that digoxin may still be effective in reducing readmissions.
Aldosterone inhibitors such as spironolactone and eplerenone have both been shown in randomized clinical trials to reduce death and hospitalizations, with benefits seen within 30 days of initiation of therapy., Recent observational data from discharge confirm that the addition of an aldosterone inhibitor reduces HF readmissions. With regard to diuretic therapy, torsemide has higher bioavailability with less variability when compared to furosemide. Small trials suggest that inpatients discharged on torsemide have a lower risk for readmission in comparison to furosemide.
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Diet And Exercise To Prevent Heart Disease
What you eat and how often you exercise are important ways you can help to prevent heart disease. If you have CKD, your doctor may recommend regular physical activity and also refer you to a dietitian who can work with you to create a kidney and heart-friendly diet.What type of exercise you do and how frequently you do it are things you should discuss with your doctor. Types of physical activity may include:
- Light or brisk walking or hiking
Your doctor and dietitian will consider what stage of kidney disease you have, how that affects your individual risk for developing heart disease, and create a meal plan that will benefit your health. Generally, a heart-healthy diet is low in fat and salt. But, because you also have CKD, you may need to balance potassium, phosphorous and fluid levels in your body. Your dietitian will consider all of these factors when creating a diet that works for you.
Heart Disease Diabetes And High Blood Pressure
Diabetes and high blood pressure the two leading causes of chronic kidney disease. If you have these conditions for a long period of time and do not treat them in the right way, this can affect your heart and lead to heart disease.
- Diabetes: When you have diabetes, too much sugar stays in your blood. This can damage both the blood vessels in the kidneys and in the heart.
- High blood pressure: Damaged kidneys may release too much of an enzyme called renin, which helps to control blood pressure. This increases your risk for heart attack, congestive heart failure and stroke.
Talk to your doctor about being tested for diabetes and high blood pressure, and work with them to create and follow a treatment plan.
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Sleeping On The Stomach
Stomach sleeping is considered unhealthy. Many people feel uncomfortable sleeping in a stomach position.Stomach sleeping can decrease the episodes of sleep apnoea to some extent. But if you are suffering from heart failure you will not be comfortable in this position. Many stomach sleepers still complain of sleep apnoea.
I wont be recommending you to sleep in this position. So, Sleeping on your stomach is not the best sleeping position for your heart.
Now that both these positions are not suitable then lets see what options we are left with.
D Physical Examination Findings
Many patients with dyspnea have clear lung fields on examination despite elevated filling pressure. Thus the clinical assessment of left-sided filling pressure relies heavily on the presence of symptoms and evidence of elevation in right-sided filling pressure .
The assessment of right-sided congestion is the most important component of the physical examination in patients suspected of having heart failure. A study reported that the presence of elevated jugular venous pressure and hepatojugular reflux are the most sensitive findings correlating with a pulmonary capillary wedge pressure > 22 mm Hg. Other important signs of congestion include the presence of an S3 gallop, edema of the lower extremities, ascites, scrotal edema, and hepatomegaly.
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Eat Healthy Food & Drinks
The phrase everything in moderation has a lot of truth behind it. If you have a diet that is heavy in fat, cholesterol, and sodium, you will need to significantly cut back on your consumption.
Focusing on eating less meats, and more fruits, and vegetables is a good place to start.
Excessive alcohol consumption can also increase your risk of heart failure. The CDC recommends not having more than two drinks each day for men, and no more than one drink each day for women.
Tips To Reduce Your Risk
1. Know your risk factors. Nine out of 10 women have at least one risk factor for heart disease. Risk factors include:
- high blood pressure
- a family history of premature heart disease
Obesity also increases the risk of developing high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and pre-diabetes, which increases the risk of heart disease. Note: With the exception of family history, you can modify the other risk factors to reduce your risk of heart disease.
2. Manage current health conditions, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Talk to your health care provider to confirm the best treatment plan.
3. Recognize symptoms of a heart attack in womenand call 9-1-1 if needed. Know that symptoms in women can be the same or different as those in men.
Symptoms can include:
- extreme fatigue
- breaking out in a cold sweat
Note: As with men, the most common symptom of a heart attack in women is chest discomfort. But you can have a heart attack without chest pain or pressure. And women are more likely than men to have other symptoms such as back pain, jaw pain, shortness of breath, indigestion, and nausea/vomiting.
If you have these symptoms and suspect youre having a heart attack, call 9-1-1. Call even if youre not sure it could save your life.
4. Do regular physical activity and maintain a healthy weight. You dont need to complete all activity at one set timeand its okay if youre not a fan of the gym.
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How To Prevent Congestive Heart Failure
This article was medically reviewed by Victor Catania, MD. Dr. Catania is a board certified Family Medicine Physician in Pennsylvania. He received his MD from the Medical University of the Americas in 2012 and completed his residency in Family Medicine at the Robert Packer Hospital. He is a member of the American Board of Family Medicine.There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 23,657 times.
Researchers agree that congestive heart failure is a serious health condition that occurs when your heart isnt pumping blood efficiently throughout your body.XTrustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the world’s leading hospitalsGo to source People who suffer from certain health conditions, such as coronary artery disease or high blood pressure, are at risk for developing CHF.XTrustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the world’s leading hospitalsGo to source Experts note that although not all heart conditions can be reversed, making changes to your diet and your lifestyle will help to improve the symptoms and allow you to live a longer, fuller life.XTrustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the world’s leading hospitalsGo to source
Be Physically Active Every Day
Be physically active every day. Research has shown that at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity physical activity can help lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol and keep your weight at a healthy level. And something IS better than nothing. If you’re inactive now, start out slow. Even a few minutes at a time may offer some health benefits. Studies show that people who have achieved even a moderate level of fitness are much less likely to die early than those with a low fitness level.
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