Heart disease, sometimes cardiovascular disease, is a term that can refer to any number of conditions that affect your heart, including:
- Coronary artery disease, or CAD (narrowing of the arteries)
- Heart attack (myocardial infarction)
- Heart defects that appear at birth (congenital heart defects)
- Heart failure
- Heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias)
- Heart valve disease
Fortunately, lifestyle changes can help prevent or treat many forms of heart disease.
“While the normal blood pressure range is 120/80, blood pressure is a very patient-specific marker,” explained Andrew D. Boerkircher, a cardiologist with Meritas Health Cardiology. “Depending on whether you have advanced cardiovascular disease, your age, gender, and other risk factors may determine your blood pressure goal.” Regular blood pressure screenings can help you and your doctor monitor and manage your blood pressure.
“Maintaining healthy levels of cholesterol is important to your cardiovascular risk profile,” Dr. Boerkircher added. “You can help reduce your bad cholesterol, or your LDL, by limiting your intake of fried, fatty foods. You can help increase your good cholesterol, or your HDL, by exercising. These two small changes in lifestyle can help you prevent future cardiovascular events.”
“Family history is a very important risk factor for cardiovascular disease,” Dr. Boerkircher said. “There’s a very strong predisposition for heart disease if your mother or father had the disease. If you know you have the genetic predisposition for cardiovascular disease, it’s important to get screened earlier and to consider making diet and exercise changes.”
A Calcium Scoring Cardio Scan can detect the presence of heart disease before symptoms appear. Schedule one today.