PREVENTION

Día Mundial del Corazón

PREVENTION

The most common cause of death worldwide (Coronary Artery Disease, heart attacks) is mostly preventable, so be informed and be healthy! There are three main areas of risk factors that are important to remember when trying to prevent cardiovascular disease (CVD):

GENETICS
Heredity can play a role in the likelihood that you will develop heart disease or high blood pressure, so make sure to understand your family history of such conditions and diseases. Also, keep in mind that similar family lifestyles, not simply similar genes, can play a role in the “heredity” of CVD.

MEDICAL CONDITIONS
High Blood Pressure, Blood Cholesterol, and Diabetes are three common medical conditions that can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. If you have been diagnosed with any of these conditions, speak with your healthcare professional about how to control your condition and prevent CVD.

LIFESTYLE
According to the World Health Organization, about 80% of coronary heart disease (heart attacks) and cerebrovascular disease (strokes) are due to lifestyle habits. And those habits are entirely controllable! Make sure you and your family are staying healthy by following these recommendations:

Don’t Smoke!
It is a fact that smoking and other tobacco products can lead to all sorts of diseases and death. It should come at no surprise that smoking can also greatly increase your chances of CVD, making you 2-4 times more likely to have coronary artery disease, which is the leading cause of death.

Be Active!
The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate activity per week, which you can break down into segments wherever they fit your schedule. Do what works for you: take the dog for a brisk walk; do a gym class on your lunch break; or climb the stairs instead of waiting for the elevator.

Eat Right!
The type and amount of food that you eat can greatly affect your overall health, especially your cardiovascular health. Understanding what nutrients your body needs and limiting the intake of high-fat, high-sugar foods are important parts of eating a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight. The World Health Organization recommends at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day and limiting salt intake.

More Resources:
Warning Signs
2010 Surgeon General’s Report—How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease
2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans
Aim for a Healthy Weight
American Heart Association Nutrition Center
Keep the Beat™ Heart Healthy Recipes
Know Portion Sizes