Preventing Heart Disease
Cardiovascular disease is the worldwide leading cause of death. It is estimated that by 2025 the deaths attributed to cardiovascular disease will reach 25 million per year. The prevalence of the disease is increasing mainly due to the “modern” way of life (sedentary living, unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, stress).
As established cardiac problems may be difficult to treat and significantly affect the quality of life, it is important to focus on prevention. It is also important to identify early signs of cardiac disease (such as shortness of breath or chest pain) and seek help.
Below you can find 10 basic rules in cardiovascular disease prevention. Try to adhere to as many as possible to reduce the risk of a cardiac event in the future:
- Perform at least 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous intensity aerobic physical activity
- Stop smoking
- Adopt a healthy diet (no dietary supplements are required). Mediterranean diet is the most studied and has excellent effects on the heart
- Limit alcohol consumption to 2 units per day for men and 1 unit per day for women
- Keep your Body Mass Index below 25kg/m2 or try to work towards this goal
- Keep your non-HDL cholesterol below 3.8mmol/L (for individuals with no previous history of heart problems)
- Keep your systolic blood pressure below 140mmHg and your diastolic blood pressure below 90mmHg (age group <60years)
- Do not use aspirin as a prophylactic drug if not specifically recommended by your doctor
- Have routine blood tests on a regular basis (at least every year).
- If you experience any suspicious symptoms (breathlessness on exertion, chest pain, palpitations), do not ignore them. Visit your doctor for a consultation or get in touch with a private cardiologist.