Disease, Prevention and Management
Heart disease develops when the blood vessels (arteries) become damaged or clogged, severely reducing blood flow to the heart. When the heart does not receive enough blood for extended periods of time, permanent damage to the heart can occur. Heart disease is a term that includes several heart conditions.
Roughly half of all Americans have one of three main and preventable risk factors of heart disease:
- High blood pressure
- High LDL cholesterol
Other risk factors include:
- Being overweight or obese
- Lack of physical activity
- Heavy alcohol consumption
How Can You Keep Your Heart Healthy?
Follow these steps to maintain or improve your heart health - no matter how healthy your heart may be.
- Eat a healthy diet, manage your weight, and exercise regularly
- Manage your blood pressure and cholesterol
- Do not smoke
- Manage your stress
- Manage prediabetes and diabetes, if applicable
- Avoid excess alcohol
- Take medications as prescribed
- Visit your doctor regularly
- Get recommended screenings, as suggested by your physician
Get Screening Tests
Seeing your doctor regularly and getting the necessary screenings is important. The sooner your doctor diagnoses a condition, the more likely it can be cured or managed. To reduce your risk of heart and blood vessel problems, be sure to keep an eye on your cholesterol and blood pressure. If you have any of the risk factors for heart disease, talk to your doctor about setting goals and managing your condition.
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