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In over 50 percent of patients, heart attacks have early symptoms or warning signs that go unnoticed and more often, untreated.
Heart attacks and cardiac arrest have beginnings, and it's important for you to know the signs and symptoms. Seeking early treatment when symptoms are mild will save lives.
Protecting your heart and future
Your heart is your body's engine, and controlling your risks with healthy habits is a smart way to curb your risk of heart disease, heart attack or Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA).
The American Heart Association has a variety of guidelines to ensure optimal heart health.
- Get active. Exercise at least 30 minutes every day.
- Control bad cholesterol. LDL (bad) cholesterol should be <70. HDL (good) cholesterol should be >40 for men and >50 for women.
- Keep triglycerides low. These fat deposits are bad for your heart and should be <150.
- Eat balanced. Vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean meats, low fat dairy, fish and poultry are ideal for a healthy heart. Eat less than 300 mg of cholesterol each day, and less than 1500mg of sodium each day.
- Manage blood pressure. Normal blood pressure is 120/80 mmHg. Ask your physician about alternatives for lowering your blood pressure.
- Lose weight. Obesity is a major independent risk factor for heart disease. Your target BMI should be <25, and aim for a waist circumference <40 inches (for men) and <35 inches (for women)
- Reduce blood sugar. Blood sugar should be <100 mg/dL. Adults with diabetes are 2-4x more likely to have a heart attack or stroke.
- Stop smoking. Smoking increases blood pressure and constricts the vessels, which can great increase your chance of a cardiac event.
- Know your medications. Always follow doctor's orders, and ask your doctor before starting a new medication. This includes:
- Beta blocker
- Statin - cholesterol medicine
- Platelet inhibitor
- ACE (Angiotensin-Converting-Enzyme) inhibitor
- ARB (Angiotensin Receptor Blocker)
Manage Your Heart Disease
The American Heart Association has created a Life's Simple 7 list that are inexpensive and practical ways to lower your risk of heart disease and improve your health.
Life's Simple 7 Steps