One-in-four deaths are caused by heart disease in both men and women every year. This statistic is staggering since heart disease is preventable by making healthy life choices and by managing existing health conditions. Before we discuss ways to prevent heart disease, let’s review the most common types of heart disease:
- Coronary Artery Disease (CAD): This is the most common form of heart disease. It occurs when the arteries that carry blood to the heart become lined with plaque, causing the arteries to narrow and constrict the amount of oxygen the heart receives. When the heart doesn’t receive a sufficient amount of oxygen, chest pain or a heart attack may occur.
- Congestive Heart Failure (CHF): CHF happens when the heart isn’t able to pump enough oxygen-rich blood to the body. This can be caused from lack of force of the heart pump or due to the heart being unable to fill with a sufficient amount of blood.
- Cardiac Arrhythmias: This is an irregular or abnormal heartbeat. It can be a slow, fast or irregular heartbeat.
- Heart Valve Disease: This occurs when the valves of the heart (one or more) aren’t functioning properly. The heart valves play a vital role in their work to ensure that blood pumped through the heart continues flowing forward.
- Heart Muscle Disease: This disease causes the heart to swell or the walls of heart to thicken. The heart is then unable to pump enough blood to the entire body, often resulting in heart failure.
- Congenital Heart Disease: Congenital heart disease is a birth defect that causes heart problems starting at birth. It occurs in approximately one in every 100 births.
Preventing Heart Disease
There are many steps that can be taken to prevent heart disease. These include:
- Not smoking or using tobacco
- Getting regular exercise (25 minutes a day, 5 days a week)
- Eating a heart-healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Getting enough sleep every night
- Getting regular health screenings
Paris Regional Medical Center in Paris, Texas offers cardiac rehabilitation services to those needed to strengthen and condition their heart after a heart attack or surgery, medically supervised and monitored exercise sessions and lifestyle education. Contact our cardiac rehab department to get on the right track to better cardiac health: (903) 783-0815.