Coronary Artery Disease
Coronary Artery Disease
You can slow or even prevent
coronary artery disease by taking steps towards a heart healthy lifestyle. Many people already have. More people are adopting healthy
habits such as eating right, exercising more, and not smoking. Doing these
things can also help reduce risk factors such as
high cholesterol and
high blood pressure.
- Quit smoking. Avoid secondhand smoke too. Quitting smoking may be the best thing you can do to
prevent heart disease. Smokers who quit cut their risk of heart disease by half
after 1 year. You can cut your risk even more by staying away from cigarettes
for good. After 15 years of not smoking, your risk of death from heart disease
is the same as if you had never smoked at all.2
- Interactive Tool: How Does Smoking Increase Your Risk of Heart Attack?
- Interactive Tool: Are You Ready to Quit Smoking?
- Exercise. There are lots of ways that
exercise boosts your health. It can improve cholesterol and blood pressure. It
can also help you reach a healthy weight. Try to exercise for at least 30
minutes on most, if not all, days of the week. Talk to your doctor before
starting an exercise program.
- Fitness: Getting and Staying Active
Control your cholesterol and blood pressure
To reduce your risk of heart disease, it's
control your cholesterol and
manage your blood pressure. Quitting smoking, changing
the way you eat, and getting more exercise can help. But if these things don't
work, you may need to take medicines as well.
- High Cholesterol: Should I Take Statins?
- High Blood Pressure: Should I Take Medicine?
Use aspirin to prevent heart attack and stroke
If you're already at risk
for heart disease, taking daily
aspirin may reduce your chances of having a stroke or
a heart attack. That's because a daily aspirin lowers your risk of getting
blood clots. Blood clots can lead to a heart attack in people with heart
disease. Clots can also cause heart attacks in people who have other problems
that can lead to heart disease, such as
high blood pressure, and
Taking aspirin has
some risks. Talk with your doctor before starting aspirin treatment.
- Aspirin: Should I Take Daily Aspirin to Prevent a Heart Attack or Stroke?
Stress and depression
- Manage stress. Stress can hurt your heart.
Keep stress low by talking about your problems and feelings, rather than
keeping your feelings hidden. Try different ways to reduce stress such as exercise, deep breathing, meditation, or
- Get help for depression. Getting treatment for
depression can help you stay healthy.
Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Robert A. Kloner, MD, PhD - Cardiology
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