Heart disease is the leading cause of a heart attack and one of several cardiovascular diseases affecting the heart and blood vessel system. Symptoms vary based on the type of heart disease you have. Visit the American Heart Association website for a complete list of conditions and prevention tips.
Adopting healthy lifestyle habits keeps your heart healthy and lowers your risk for heart disease. Here are eight steps to get you started:
- Exercise daily to reduce your risk of heart disease. Physical activity helps to control your weight and reduces your chances of developing other conditions that may put a strain on your heart, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.
- Sign up for Walk Around Nevada and track your physical activity.
- Follow a healthy diet that emphasizes a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, poultry or fish and low-fat dairy.
- Limit saturated fat, transfat, sodium, red meat, sweets and sugar-sweetened beverages.
- Join our Nutrition Challenge or download our Half My Plate app:
- Your body circulates blood more efficiently when you’re at a healthy weight. Work with your doctor to determine your target body mass index (BMI).
- Call the Nevada Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-784-8669 for free resources and support.
- Meditation, aerobic exercise, yoga and mindfulness training are great ways reduce anxiety and help your heart.
- Get tested at least once every two years to screen for high blood pressure.
- If you’re age 40 or older, or between ages 18-39 with a high risk of high blood pressure, ask your doctor for a blood pressure reading every year.
- Adults should generally have their cholesterol measured at least once every five years starting at age 18. Earlier testing is recommended if you have other risk factors, such as a family history of early-onset heart disease.
- Having diabetes increases your chances of developing heart disease. Consider being screened for diabetes to know if you’re at risk for other heart problems.
Heart disease and stroke are the first and fifth leading causes of death in the United States. Every 43 seconds, someone in the U.S. has a heart attack, and every 4 minutes, someone dies from a stroke. Million Hearts® is a national initiative with an ambitious goal to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017.
We can all do our part in prevention by following the ABC’S of heart disease and stroke:
Appropriate Aspirin Use
Ask your doctor if aspirin will reduce your risk for heart attacks.
Blood Pressure Control
Arm yourself with the knowledge you’ll need to manage high blood pressure. The American Heart Association is a great resource.
- Keep track of blood pressure readings with a blood pressure card and remember to share them with your doctor.
- Reduce your sodium consumption with one of these heart healthy recipes.
- Keep track of your medications on a medication tracker.
- Get active and maintain a healthy weight with our free online programs:
It’s always good to monitor your cholesterol numbers and work with your doctor to reduce your risk for heart attack and stroke.
- If your cholesterol numbers are high, dietary changes may be necessary to reduce your risk. Follow these tips on heart-healthy fats from the American Heart Association.
- For some people, lifestyle changes alone aren’t enough to reach healthy cholesterol levels. Learn more about drug therapy options.
- Download our Know Your Numbers brochure to learn what your target cholesterol numbers should be.
Smokers have twice the risk of heart attack as nonsmokers. Once you quit smoking, your risk for heart attack and stroke declines each year thereafter.
Find more national resources on the Million Hearts website.