Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Prevent Heart Attack In 5 Steps!

A heart attack occurs when the flow of oxygen-rich blood to a section of heart muscle suddenly becomes blocked and the heart cannot get sufficient oxygen. Most heart attacks happen because of coronary heart disease (CHD).

CHD is a condition in which plaque builds up inside of the coronary arteries that supply oxygen-rich blood to the heart. The plaque can eventually rupture and a blood clot is formed on the plaque’s surface. The clot, if large enough, could completely block the blood flow through a coronary artery. This would cause the portion of heart muscle fed by the artery starts to die, and healthy tissue is replaced with scar tissue.

Fortunately, heart attack is preventable. A new study by researchers in Sweden revealed that men who take just 5 steps could actually lower their odds of a heart attack by four-fifths, though only 1 percent of men do so on their own. A total of 20,721 healthy men aged between 45 and 79 were followed for 11 years. Their findings were published September 22, 2014 in the ‘Journal of the American College of Cardiology’.

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), heart attack risk can be evaluated at home by looking at lifestyle choices that are under one’s control. These include smoking, alcohol consumption, exercise, diet, Type-2 diabetes, high blood cholesterol and in some cases high blood pressure.

In order to determine a man’s risk and how it fluctuates depending on certain factors, the researchers identified a certain 5-step combination as the key to reduce heart attack risk by up to 86 percent. The 5 steps are: do not smoke, have regular exercise, watch waistline, limit alcohol consumption and adopt healthy diet.

The study indicated that men who did not smoke lowered their risk by 36 percent, and men who walked or cycled for at least 40 minutes a day and did other exercise at least a hour per week had a 3 percent lower risk. Those who had a waist circumference below 37 inches had a 12 percent lower risk, and those who drank no more than about 2 drinks a day had a 11 percent lower risk. For those who ate a lot of fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, reduced-fat dairy products, whole grains and fish, their risk was 18 percent lower. 

But sadly to note, only 1 percent of the population belonged to the low-risk group that adopted this set of healthy lifestyle practices on their own. Lowering heart attack risk by following healthy lifestyle is not surprising. It is the drastic degree of magnitude dropped that surprised the researchers.

Since changing from high-risk to low-risk behaviors could actually have great impact on cardiovascular health, it is best for people to start adopting healthy lifestyle choices early in their life.

1 comment:

  1. Nice Information. Cleared my so many doubts….Heart attack failure is primarily a cause of poor and sedentary lifestyle, and can be largely preventable through risk factor awareness and modification. The best way to prevent heart disease is to control blood pressure and have LDL cholesterol at low levels. You can attain these goals by making appropriate diet changes and even by taking medications if so recommended by your doctor.