Page 1

Aug 25

How To Prevent Heart Attacks Risks A heart attack represents the death throes of oxygen-starved heart muscle. Your risk of having an heart attack depends on factors that influence fatty plague buildup in your coronary artery walls, formation of artery-clogging blood clots and the strength of the heart muscle itself. Controlling these factors can significantly reduce your risk of heart attack. Heart Attack Risk Factors ●

Blood pressure. Blood coursing through the arteries at high pressure-more than 90 diastolic or 140 systolic – eventually wears away portions of the smooth arterial lining providing a foothold for plague. To reduce risk: Limit alcohol, which can have a direct hypertensive effect on the body; watch salt intake, since salt increases blood pressure in 30 to 50 percent of hypertensive people; and reduce stress through exercise or relaxation techniques. In these steps don’t work, medication becomes necessary. Once blood pressure is lowered, further damage to arteries is minimizes or stopped. Cholesterol levels. A total cholesterol (TC) of more than 240 mg/dl increases heart attack risk, and a level between 200 and 239 is considered borderline high. But one type of cholesterol – high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-actually helps keep arteries clear, so an ample HDL supply (above 60) is a positive factor, while too little (below 35) boosts coronary risk. To reduce risk: Limit saturated fat – found in meat and diary foods – and replace it with monounsaturated fat such as olive, canola or peanut oil; consume lots of fruits, vegetables, beans and grains. Cholesterol-lowering medications may be needed. Exercise. The heart, like any muscle, needs exercise to stay strong. Inactivity may cause blood to clot more easily. It also increases the chance of developing other risk factors, including undesirable cholesterol levels, obesity, diabetes and hypertension. To reduce risk: Moderate exercise, such as walking, can help the average person lose weight faster than heavy workouts, because most people can keep going longer at a moderate pace – and thus burn more calories. With your doctor’s okay, build up to a program of 45minute workouts four or five times a week – and include strength-training, since the extra muscle it builds will burn calories faster. Obesity. Extra weight magnifies the chance of developing undesirable cholesterol levels, hypertension and diabetes. The most reliable criterion for obesity is body mass index of 30 or more, at which point the risk of heart disease rises sharply. A BMI (body mass index) from 27 through 29 – indicating moderate overweight – has been associated with a slightly increased risk of heart attack. To reduce risk: Fluctuations in weight from repeated dieting may actually be worse for the heart then a stable, excessive weight. The only way to lose weight safely and permanently is to modify exercise and eating habits permanently. Limit fats and eat lots of produce, grains and beans.


Diabetes. Both Type I and II forms tend to damage arteries and promote hypertension and harmful cholesterol levels. To reduce risk: Controlling blood-sugar levels with diet, weight loss, exercise and, in some cases, medication, reduces coronary risk factors for Type I diabetics – and probably for Type II patients as well. Smoking Tobacco is at leas as destructive to the heart as to the lungs. It injures and constricts the arteries, cuts the flow of oxygen to the heart, stimulates clotting and blunts the protective effect of HDL cholesterol. Even chronic exposure to secondhand smoke boosts heart attack risk about 30 percent. To reduce risk: People who have stopped smoking for at least give years have the same heart attack risk as a people who never smoked. Try to quit cold. If you fail ask your doctor about nicotine gum or skin patches. Alcohol. Excessive drinking can wreak havoc throughout the body and increase the risk of heart attack. But alcohol boosts HDLs and inhibits clotting. People who drink moderately – up two drinks a day for men, and for women – have a 20- to 45- percent lower coronary risk than abstainers. But people who don’t drink shouldn’t start in order to protect their heart, since some are unable to control the habit. Hormone replacement. Taking supplemental estrogen after menopause may cut a woman’s chance of heart attack by one-third or more. But estrogen increases the risk of uterine cancer, so women who have not had heir uterus removed need to add progestin to neutralize risk. Whether the combination protects the heart as effectively as estrogen alone isn’t yet clear, but researchers believe it does confer a significant benefit. Your doctor can tell you more.

For more advices you should ask your doctors but these are most of the steps one should follow in order to prevent heart attack risk.

Prevent Heart Attacks Risks