Keep Your Heart Healthy
When you hear talk about heart disease, what exactly is it?
Usually, heart disease refers to coronary artery disease. Coronary artery disease is when plaque grows inside the arteries, or tubes, that take blood to the heart. The plaque makes the arteries narrower, or can even block them, limiting blood flow to the heart.
Plaque in the arteries typically is caused by too much fat and cholesterol in the blood (high LDL cholesterol and low HDL cholesterol), high blood pressure, family history, smoking, too much sugar in the blood (diabetes), or obesity. Women who are post-menopausal and men older than 45 also may be at increased risk.
It’s encouraging to know, however, that there are many things you can do to prevent coronary artery disease, including:
- Eat a healthy, nutritious diet
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Get plenty of physical activity
- Control your blood pressure and cholesterol
- Quit smoking (if you do)
- Drink alcohol in moderation
- Manage stress
If you have concerns or questions about your heart health, be sure to talk to your doctor.