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Cardiovascular disease prevention: Strategies for a healthy heart

Globally, heart disease claims for more lives every year than any other condition.

Updated: Dec 05, 2016, 14:38 PM IST
Cardiovascular disease prevention: Strategies for a healthy heart

New Delhi: Cardiovascular diseases (CVD), also called heart disease, refers to various types of conditions that involve the heart or blood vessels.

Globally, heart disease claims for more lives every year than any other condition, and thus it is the number one cause of death worldwide than from any other cause.

Certain risk factors make some people more susceptible to have a heart disease. But most cardiovascular diseases are caused risk factors that can be controlled or modified such as high blood pressure, cholesterol, overweight/obesity, stress, tobacco use, lack of physical activity and diabetes. There are some CVD risk factors that cannot be controlled such as genetics, age, etc.

Here are some tips that can help prevent or lower your risk of a heart disease:

  • Eating a healthy, balanced diet, which include plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables (five portions a day) and whole grains.
  • Limiting red meat consumption to one or two times per month.
  • Cutting back on salt, sugar, alcoholic beverages, and foods with partially hydrogenated vegetable oil.
  • Not smoking or quitting smoke if you smoke.
  • Exercising and maintaining a healthy weight to avoid high blood pressure, which is a risk factor for heart disease. Experts recommend getting at least 30 minutes of exercise per day, or 30 to 60 minutes of exercise most days of the week, as per the Mayo Clinic.
  • Managing diabetes - which is a major risk factor for heart disease - getting regular check ups, eating a diabetes-friendly diet, and be physically active.
  • Keeping you blood cholesterol levels at a normal range by maintaining a healthy diet and making other healthy lifestyle changes such as taking regular exercise and giving up smoking.
  • Knowing how to manage stress, which has been linked to heart disease.
  • Taking medication as prescribed by your doctor to help relieve symptoms or stop further problems from developing.

In case you're worried and may be at risk of a heart disease due to circumstances beyond your control, make sure that you pay attention to lifestyle factors you can change to reduce your risk. Also speak to your doctor or health practitioner for a heart health check up to find out your overall risk and prevent further complications.