Heart disease occurs when blood vessels in the heart clog. This is caused by a condition called atherosclerosis, when fat-like deposits called plaque build up in your artery walls. Over time this can narrow the space inside the artery and harden the walls of the blood vessel. This can make it difficult for blood and oxygen to flow through. Atherosclerosis can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
Proper treatment of heart disease decreases the risk of future heart attacks and strokes. Tobacco use, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and uncontrolled diabetes increase your risk factors for a heart attack and stroke. Therefore, it is very important to treat and control all of these conditions.
Talk to your doctor to find out which medicines to prevent heart attack and stroke might be right for you. Your doctor may suggest some lab tests to be sure that these medicines are working well for you.
Along with medications, lifestyle choices help prevent heart attacks and strokes. The same lifestyle choices that prevent heart attack and stroke help to control cholesterol, blood pressure and diabetes. It is important to:
• Quit smoking if you smoke
• Choose a variety of nutritious foods low in fat and salt
• Be physically active for at least 30 minutes most days
• Keep your weight at a healthy level
Your doctor may recommend other lifestyle changes that are right for you
More about coronary heart disease
©2007 Kaiser Permanente · Privacy Practices · Terms & Conditions · HTML Version · En Español