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Keeping your Heart Healthy
The CDC states, “Nearly 1 in 3 deaths in the US each year is caused by heart disease and stroke. At least 200,000 of these deaths could have been prevented through changes in health habits.”₁
Risk Factors for Heart Disease and Stroke
1. Tobacco Usage: Quit smoking. It helps prevent heart attack and stroke, as well as making recovery from heart issues easier.
2. High blood cholesterol. Cholesterol clogs arteries, which leads to heart attacks and stroke. To reduce your cholesterol, limit saturated and trans-fat. Exercise also reduces cholesterol.
Total cholesterol should be less than 200 mg/dL.
Your LDL should be less than 160 mg/dL if you are at an already low risk
for heart disease. Most people should aim lower than 130 mg/dL. HDL
should be 40-50 mg/dL or higher.
3. High blood pressure. Work with your doctor to control your blood pressure.
4. Inactivity. Research recommends moderate intensity activity for 2 hours 30 minutes per week. It will lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight. The time can be split through the day into two 15-minute intervals, 5 days per week, to ease into working out.
5. Obesity. Good nutrition and activity help to maintain a healthy weight. Obesity leads to many diseases such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
6. Unhealthy Diet. Reduce sodium, increase fiber, and make sure to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
More tips: This information is not meant to replace the advice of your physician. If you believe you are at risk for heart attack or stroke, please speak to your physician about what you can do to lower your risk.
Reduce stress and depression. Research shows a connection between heart disease risk and stress. Researchers are now also finding a correlation between depression and heart disease.
Limit alcohol. Drinking too much alcohol can raise blood pressure, leading to heart failure or stroke.
Get a blood test. Do the blood tests your doctor recommends at your physicals. Many times, doctors recommend many of the steps above to lower blood pressure and cholesterol before prescribing medication. If you do need medication, take it regularly.
This information is not meant to replace the advice of your physician. If you believe you are at risk for heart attack or stroke, please speak to your physician about what you can do to lower your risk.
WARNING SIGNS OF HEART ATTACK, STROKE, OR CARDIAC ARREST₂
If you have these signs, please call 9-1-1
|➣ Chest or upper body discomfort. May feel like pressure that comes and goes|
➣ Shortness of breath
➣ Cold sweat, nausea, lightheadedness
|➣ Face drooping|
➣ Arm numbness
➣ Speech difficulty
➣ Time to call 9-1-1
|➣ Sudden loss of responsiveness|
➣ No normal breathing