How to Prevent Heart Disease

How to Prevent Heart Disease

Author: Rajesh Maddikunta, MD

Before talking about ways to prevent heart disease, I would like to present a few alarming facts on heart disease that are increasingly prevalent in our society.

Heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women, surpassing all other ailments. The incidence of heart disease is increasing around the world as a result of increasing risk factors. However, the good news is we can successfully prevent, control and manage the risk factors contributing to a healthy heart.

Among multiple risk factors, when avoided, prevented, managed or treated can greatly impact the outcome and prevent premature death and disability.

"Other than advanced age, smoking is the single most important risk factor for heart disease."

Cigarette smoking accounts for over 450,000 deaths each year in our country. Despite modest success in reducing smoking among adults, there has been a recent increase in smoking among teens and women. Smoking causes injury of blood vessels which leads to heart attacks and strokes. Stopping smoking is one of the best things anyone can do to achieve a healthy heart.

Prevent obesity with exercise & weight loss.

Last but not the least, regular exercise, maintaining ideal body weight and preventing obesity are some of the most important ways to maintain health and prevent heart disease.

Exercise does not imply pumping iron or working out for hours. It can simply mean walking for half hour to an hour on most days of the week. You can also exercise on a stationary bike in front of TV- of course you should not be munching on junk food while doing it.

If we can all follow the above simple recommendations, we can attempt to prevent, control, and manage most heart disease. This will lead us to a happy, healthy and productive life.