Knowledge is power in every aspect of life. Knowledge leading to informed decision-making saves lives when it comes to heart disease prevention. The sobering statistics speak for themselves regarding the deadly impact of heart disease. According to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States with someone having a heart attack every 40 seconds. A healthcare partnership between patient and physician is the first essential step in heart disease prevention. Here are the top five topics every doctor and patient should discuss to keep heart disease at bay.
Regular Wellness Exams
Committing to regular wellness exams is the first step in designing a defensive, preventative wellness strategy. Familiarity with office practices increases the likelihood of keeping visits on track. Some doctors prefer to perform wellness exams on certain days of the week. They might even prompt patients to schedule visits with reminder messages several months in advance. Either way, patients should take advantage of all supports offered to stay on track and on time with regular wellness exams.
Am I Having a Heart Attack?
The American Heart Association has identified the five most common symptoms individuals experience when having a heart attack. Recognizing these symptoms as true warning signs can save a life.
- Pain or discomfort in the chest
- Pain in one or both arms
- Pain in jaw, neck or back
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling lightheaded or nauseous
If a heart attack is suspected emergency services must be summoned without delay.
Understanding Cholesterol Levels
The American Heart Association recommends “adults age 20 or older have their cholesterol checked every four to six years, and work with their healthcare providers to determine their risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke.” Both HDL and LDL levels provide physicians with real-time data that measure an individual’s potential risk of heart disease. This information can lead to tailored recommendations for improving cholesterol numbers including potential dietary changes as well as guidelines for physical activity.
Physical Activity Guidelines
Want to live longer, feel better and decrease your risk of heart disease at the same time? The good news is all three of these benefits are easily attained by lacing up a good pair of sneakers for a recommended amount of time each week. According to the Federal government exercise guidelines, adults should engage in 2 hours and 30 minutes each week of moderate physical activity and 1 hour and 15 minutes each week of vigorous physical activity. Keep in mind that some exercise is better than none and all minutes count, whether they are completed in one session or over the course of a given week.
Smoking damages every organ in the body and is explicitly linked to heart disease. Those that smoke, need to stop, immediately.