10 Strategies to Lower Your Risk of Heart Failure

Heart disease is known as the leading cause of the death in the United States. It is also a major cause of disability. A heart attack also medically known as a myocardial infarction. This happens when the heart muscle is damaged or does not receive enough oxygen.

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Many cardiac related problems occur due to blockages in arteries that carry purified blood away from the heart to different parts of the body. Another cause is the formation of blood clots in the arteries.


There are many things that can raise your risk for heart disease. They are called risk factors. Some of them you cannot control, but there are many that you can control. Now let us learn about those risk factors that you cannot control so you can understand these. So, what are these heart disease risk factors that you cannot change?


Your Age. Your risk of heart disease increases as you get older. Men age 45 and older and women age 55 and older have a greater risk.


Your Gender/Sex. Some risk factors may affect heart disease risk differently in women than in men. For example, estrogen provides women some protection against heart disease, but diabetes raises the risk of heart disease more in women than in men.


Your Race or ethnicity. Certain races or ethnicities have higher risks than others. African Americans are more likely than Caucasians to have heart disease, while Hispanic Americans are less likely to have it. Some Asian groups, such as East Asians, have lower rates, but South Asians have higher rates of heart failures.


Your Family history. You have a greater risk if you have a close family member who had heart disease at an early age.


Now, what can you do to lower your risk of getting a heart disease?

Luckily, there are many things you can do to reduce your chances of getting a heart disease:


You need to control your blood pressure. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease. It is important to get your blood pressure checked regularly. For most adults, at least once a year, and more often if you have high blood pressure. You need to take steps, including lifestyle changes, to prevent or control high blood pressure.

 

You need to keep your cholesterol and triglyceride levels under control. High levels of cholesterol can clog your arteries and raise your risk of coronary artery disease and heart attack. Lifestyle changes and medicines (if needed) can lower your cholesterol. Triglycerides are another type of fat in the blood. High levels of triglycerides may also raise the risk of coronary artery disease, especially in women.


You need to eat a healthy diet. Try to limit saturated fats, foods high in sodium, and added sugars. Eat plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables, and whole grains. The DASH diet is an example of an eating plan that can help you to lower your blood pressure and cholesterol, two things that can lower your risk of heart disease.


You need to stay at a healthy weight. Being overweight or having obesity can increase your risk for heart disease. This is mostly because they are linked to other heart disease risk factors, including high blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Controlling your weight can lower these risks.


You need to get regular exercise. Exercise has many benefits, including strengthening your heart and improving your circulation. It can also help you maintain a healthy weight and lower cholesterol and blood pressure. All of these can lower your risk of heart disease.


You need to limit alcohol intake. Drinking too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure. It also adds extra calories, which may cause weight gain. Both of those raise your risk of heart disease. Men should have no more than two alcoholic drinks per day, and women should not have more than one.


You need to avoid or quit smoking. Cigarette smoking raises your blood pressure and puts you at higher risk for heart attack and stroke. If you do not smoke, do not start. If you do smoke, quitting will lower your risk for heart disease. You can talk with your health care provider for help in finding the best way for you to quit.


You need to manage stress. Stress is linked to heart disease in many ways. It can raise your blood pressure. Extreme stress can be a "trigger" for a heart attack. Also, some common ways of coping with stress, such as overeating, heavy drinking, and smoking, are bad for your heart. Some ways to help manage your stress include exercise, listening to music, focusing on something calm or peaceful, and meditating.


You need to manage diabetes. Having diabetes doubles your risk of diabetic heart disease. That is because over time, high blood sugar from diabetes can damage your blood vessels and the nerves that control your heart and blood vessels. So, it is important to get tested for diabetes, and if you have it, to keep it under control.


You need to make sure that you get enough sleep. If you don't get enough sleep, you raise your risk of high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes. Those three things can raise your risk for heart disease. Most adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. Make sure that you have good sleep habits. If you have frequent sleep problems, contact your health care provider. One problem, sleep apnea, causes people to briefly stop breathing many times during sleep. This interferes with your ability to get a good rest and can raise your risk of heart disease. If you think you might have it, ask your doctor about having a sleep study. And if you do have sleep apnea, make sure that you get treatment for it.


A killer disease, according to the American Heart Association (AHA) where approximately 58.8 million people in the US suffer from heart diseases. And, about 950,000 Americans die of heart ailments each year. Heart diseases and death from it can be prevented by maintaining your health. Find a work-life-balance and other activities, abandon the couch for the outdoors, don’t watch sports on television play sports instead and you can hope to live a long and fulfilled life.

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