Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of disability and death worldwide. There are numerous risk factors associated with cardiovascular disorders including both non-modifiable and modifiable risk factors meaning that the last ones may be addressed and by this, the risk of getting ill may be reduced.
Blood pressure control
Increased blood pressure is known to cause various complications such as stroke and myocardial infarction which may not only significantly affect the quality of life but also be life-threatening. Therefore, maintaing a normal blood pressure of less than 130/80 mmHg is essential. Once hypertension was diagnosed blood pressure should be monitored closely and antihypertensive medications must be taken.
Blood glucose levels control
Diet significantly influences on the blood glucose levels. Diabetes mellitus has many vascular complications as increased blood glucose damages the small peripheral and large magistrate arteries. In case of diebetes mellitus medications and/or insulin may be prescribed in order to maintain normal blood glucose.
A healthy diet and weight control
A healthy diet is necessary to maintain the body’s wellness. Fruits, vegetables and lean meat and low-fat dairy products are an essential part of the Mediterranean diet which is considered beneficial for cardiovascular health. It is recommended to avoid foods containing trans and saturated fat as it increases one’s risk of developing atherosclerosis/coronary artery disease. Additionally, salt intake should be limited as increased salt consumption is linked to high blood pressure.
On the other hand, a healthy diet is necessary to prevent overweight and obesity which are the risk factors for developing heart disease. No wonder, as the increased body weight makes the heart work harder and, consequently, the heart muscle is damaged.
Blood cholesterol is related to one’s diet. If the cholesterol levels can’t be controlled with the dietary changes consider taking pills such as statins to reduce blood cholesterol.
Regular physical activity is an excellent way to improve your overall health and prevent cardiovascular diseases in particular. About 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic physical activity or 75 minutes of intense activity per week is recommended.
A healthy lifestyle is a cornerstone of cardiovascular disease prevention.
- Smoking cessation
Smoking poses a great risk to one’s health as chemicals in tobacco and nicotine itself causes blood vessel constriction and, therefore, damages the heart muscle as it doesn’t get enough oxygen. Furthermore, carbon monoxide produced during smoking replaces oxygen in the blood causing tissue hypoxia (decreased oxygen supply). As a result blood pressure and heart rate increase in order to compensate for the damage, respectively the heart has to work harder and suffer even more. It is recommended to avoid smoking or quit as soon as possible in order to prevent heart and vascular diseases.
- Alcohol avoidance/cessation
Despite the fact that occasional alcohol intake is considered safe, alcohol abuse is a great risk factor for developing cardiovascular diseases, so it’s essential to reduce alcohol consumption.
- Stress avoidance and proper sleep
Both physical and psychological stress, exhaustion and sleep deprivation affects a person’s well-being and increases cardiovascular diseases risk. Proper sleep and stress avoidance are recommended.