Cardiovascular risk reduction (cardiac health maintenance or cardiac “check up”)
What is Cardiovascular Risk Reduction?
There are several health conditions that can increase your risk for cardiovascular disease, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes. Other risk factors include your lifestyle, and your age and family history. You cannot control your age or your family history, but there are steps you can take to control and lower your risk of cardiovascular disease. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle throughout your life is the most important risk reducing action, but there are many other steps you can take mitigate your cardiovascular risk, including:
See your cardiologist
Seeing your cardiologist to assess your overall health and risk factors is an important first step, especially for diagnosing and treating any underlying conditions that may contribute to cardiovascular disease. Your cardiologist can then develop an appropriate treatment and risk reduction plan. Scheduling regular appointments with your cardiologist is a wise move to monitor any changes in your overall health, or underlying conditions that can lead to cardiovascular disease.
Healthy weight & diet
Maintaining a healthy weight by consuming a heart-healthy diet with vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains, lean animal protein and fish, minimizing intake of red meat, processed red meat, refined carbohydrates and sweetened beverages. Carrying extra weight adds stress on your heart and blood vessels.
Being physically active can help you maintain a healthy weight and lower your blood pressure, blood cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
Reducing salt in your diet.
Quitting smoking, or not starting the habit. Cigarette smoking can damage your heart and blood vessels and put you at risk for heart conditions such as atherosclerosis and heart attack.
Limit your alcohol intake, which can raise your blood pressure. It’s recommended that men should have no more than 2 drinks per day and women no more than 1 per day.
Manage your diabetes
Manage your diabetes by keeping your blood sugar levels to your target goals, eating healthy, getting regular exercise and keeping your blood pressure and cholesterol levels at your target goals, taking your medicine as directed and seeing your doctor for regular checkups. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for people who have diabetes.
Reduce your stress as unrelieved stress can damage your arteries and make other risk factors of cardiovascular disease worse
Get treatment for depression as it can increase your risk of heart disease.
Practice good hygiene such as brushing and flossing your teeth.
Your Saint John’s Physician Partners cardiologist can help you develop a plan to reduce your risks of cardiovascular disease.
Key Factors for Cardiovascular Risk Reduction
The key factors to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease include: Your awareness and willingness for lifestyle changes such as diet, exercise, quitting smoking and limiting alcohol intake. Taking your medications as prescribed by your doctor. Having regular checkups with your cardiologist to keep you on course and treat any underlying conditions.
Working together with your Saint John’s Physician Partners cardiologist can help to mitigate your risk for cardiovascular disease and significantly improve your quality of life.