Coronary Artery Disease
You can slow or even prevent coronary artery disease by taking steps towards a Reference heart healthy lifestyle. Many people already have. More people are adopting healthy habits such as eating right, exercising more, and not smoking. Doing these things can also help reduce risk factors such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
- Reference Quit smoking. Avoid secondhand smoke too. Quitting smoking may be the best thing you can do to prevent heart disease. Smokers who quit cut their risk of heart disease by half after 1 year. You can cut your risk even more by staying away from cigarettes for good. After 15 years of not smoking, your risk of death from heart disease is the same as if you had never smoked at all.Reference 2
- Exercise. There are lots of ways that exercise boosts your health. It can improve cholesterol and blood pressure. It can also help you reach a healthy weight. Try to exercise for at least 30 minutes on most, if not all, days of the week. Talk to your doctor before starting an exercise program.
- Eat a heart-healthy diet. The way you eat can help you Reference control your cholesterol and blood pressure. It can be hard to know what's best to eat for a healthy heart. Remember that some foods you may hear about are just Reference fads that don't prevent heart disease at all.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Being active and eating healthy can help you stay at a healthy weight or lose weight if you need to.
Control your cholesterol and blood pressure
To reduce your risk of heart disease, it's important to control your cholesterol and manage your blood pressure. Quitting smoking, changing the way you eat, and getting more exercise can help. But if these things don't work, you may need to take medicines as well.
- Opens New Window High Cholesterol: Should I Take Statins? Opens New Window
- Opens New Window High Blood Pressure: Should I Take Medicine? Opens New Window
Use aspirin to prevent heart attack and stroke
If you're already at risk for heart disease, taking daily Reference aspirin may reduce your chances of having a stroke or a heart attack. That's because a daily aspirin lowers your risk of getting blood clots. Blood clots can lead to a heart attack in people with heart disease. Clots can also cause heart attacks in people who have other problems that can lead to heart disease, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
Taking aspirin has some risks. Talk with your doctor before starting aspirin treatment.
- Opens New Window Aspirin: Should I Take Daily Aspirin to Prevent a Heart Attack or Stroke? Opens New Window
Stress and depression
- Manage stress. Stress can Reference hurt your heart. Keep stress low by talking about your problems and feelings, rather than keeping your feelings hidden. Try different Reference ways to reduce stress such as exercise, deep breathing, meditation, or yoga.
- Reference Get help for depression. Getting treatment for depression can help you stay healthy.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference May 9, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Reference Robert A. Kloner, MD, PhD - Cardiology
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