- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
How to Prevent Heart Attacks?
How to Prevent Heart Attacks?
Prevention of Heart Attack
Heart disease is a leading cause of death in India and the western world. Increasing number of young Indians fall prey to heart disease because of lifestyle.
What is Heart Attack? ; How to Prevent Heart Attack?
Heart attack in medical terms is called myocardial infarction. That means there will be decreased amount of blood supply to one part of the heart usually because of fat deposition in the blood vessels supplying the heart muscle.
There are many risk factors attributed to the development of coronary heart disease. Some of these risk factors are modifiable and some are non-modifiable.
The non-modifiable risk factors include family history of heart disease, gender and age. Prevention of heart attack involves working the modifiable risk factors. Working the modifiable risk factors is equivalent to adopting a healthy lifestyle.
The important modifiable risk factors in the prevention of heart attack are smoking, lack of exercise, high fat diet, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, mental stress and alcoholism.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids in Fish is good in preventing Heart Attack
Smoking Tobacco and Heart Attack
Smoking tobacco or using tobacco in any other form is injurious to health. This message is given in the packet covers of cigarettes and chewable tobacco. Still people use them thinking that “It will not affect me”, “I am using tobacco only occasionally”, “I am in the process of reducing it or stopping it” or “I am using low- nicotine cigarettes”.
When it comes to prevention of heart attack, no amount of tobacco is safe. Nicotine which is a content of tobacco can cause harmful effects to the body. Nicotine will cause damage to the smooth inner lining of blood vessels which in turn may promote the development of atherosclerosis and narrowing of blood vessels. Low – tar or low- nicotine cigarettes and passive smoking are also harmful to the health of the heart and other organs in the body. They are not exempted as risk factors of even different types of cancer.
Nicotine can also cause vasoconstriction or narrowing of the blood vessels. When the peripheral blood vessels are narrowed, the heart has to pump hard against resistance leading to high blood pressure. Controlling blood pressure is an essential aspect of prevention of heart attack. Other than nicotine, cigarette smoke contains an increased amount of carbon monoxide which will compete with oxygen in getting attached to haemoglobin. As a result the tissues of the body will be getting less oxygen and the heart has to pump harder to supply adequate oxygen to the tissues.
Quit smoking at the earliest to prevent heart attack, because the risk of getting heart attack drops down within one year of stopping smoking.
Encourage your friends and family who smoke to quit smoking. Support them in quitting smoking because the life after a heart attack is going to be different and restricted.
Omega-3 Fish Oil
Eat healthy to Prevent Heart Attack
Avoid excess of fat and salt.
Among the different types of fats, saturated fats and trans fats are harmful for the health of heart because these fats will increase the blood cholesterol level. Reduce the intake food rich in saturated fat like red meat, dairy products and coconut and palm oils. Deep fried fast foods, bakery products and packaged snack food are rich in trans fat.
Include lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and pulses in your diet. A variety of pulses are available in the Indian market and there are hundreds of recipes around them. Pulses are good sources of protein with low fat. Taking lots of fruits and vegetablesare good to prevent heart attack as well as to prevent cancer. Take care. Wash them thoroughly before eating.
A type of polyunsaturated fat called Omega-3 fatty acid is good for the heart and its intake may help in the prevention of heart attack. Sardines, Mackerel and Salmon are good sources of Omega-3 fatty acid.
What is a Heart Attack?
Be Physically Active to Prevent Heart Attack
Being physically active is very important in preventing heart attack. Physical activity includes all your household activities, gardening, taking stairs etc. Try to be active for most part of the day. A minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity for most days of the week considerably reduces the risk of heart diseases. Studies have shown that even 10 minutes of continuous physical activity may be helpful in the prevention of heart attack.
Ideal Weight to Prevent Heart Attack
Weight gain in adulthood will increase the risk of heart diseases as most of the weight gained in adulthood is because of the deposition of fat. Body mass index is a good indicator for weight maintenance. In addition, waist circumference and waist to hip ratio are also used as indicators of abdominal obesity. Reducing even ten percent of your weight may be beneficial in preventing heart attack and to reduce blood pressure if you are overweight.
Reduce the Blood Cholesterol
Fat deposited in the arteries can be detrimental to your health as it may precipitate a heart attack or stroke anytime. Have regular visits to your doctor and keep those figures of cholesterol and different types of lipids in your blood under control to prevent heart attack. If your lifestyle does not bring down these figures within normal values, take medicines as per doctor's prescription.
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Blood Pressure Checks for Prevention of Heart Attack
Normal blood pressure is less than 120/80 millimeters of mercury. Have your blood pressure checked at least once in two years. If there is any discrepancy you may need frequent check-ups and treatment. High blood pressure can damage your heart and blood vessels and may lead to heart attack or stroke. Recovery from both these conditions is not easy and the patient may become disabled for life.
Manage your Diabetes to Prevent Heart Attack
It is best to screen for diabetes, if you are 35 or above. If you are a diabetic, keep the numbers under control. People with diabetes have two to four times increased risk of developing heart attack as they share the common risk factors of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity and lack of physical activity.
How to Prevent Heart Attacks?-Reduce Mental Stress
People under mental stress tend to eat more, drink more or smoke more. Adopt some strategies like Meditation or Yoga to reduce mental stress and prevent heart attack.
How to Prevent Heart Attacks?-Reduce Alcohol Intake
Drinking too much alcohol regularly can lead to a heart failure. A person who consumes too much alcohol tends to eat lot of fatty foods and smoke. This increases the risk of heart disease in them.
To summarise, prevention of heart attack is very easy. If you feel that you have one or more of these risk factors, try and change your lifestyle to prevent heart attack.