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Reducing Your Risk of Heart Disease

  1.  If you smoke, stop!

  2.  If you are overweight, find a diet plan you like that your physician supports and stick to it!  Set reasonable goals and timelines.

  3.  If you are more than 20% overweight or have a family history of diabetes, be sure to get screened for the disease. Diabetes is an independent risk factor for heart disease as well as a serious disease itself.

  4.  Exercise at least 20 minutes 4 to 5 times per week.

  5.  Get your cholesterol and triglycerides checked. If they're elevated, work with your physician to lower them.

  6.  If you're over 40, ask your doctor if you're a candidate for taking a baby aspirin each day to reduce your risk of a heart attack.

  7.  Get your blood pressure checked and if it's elevated, work with your physician to manage it.

  8.  Brushing and flossing aren't just important for your teeth. Preventing periodontal disease may also reduce your risk of heart disease.

  9.  Increasing dietary fiber intake to approximately 25 to 30 g/d may reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease by up to 12%.

  10.  Practice stress management techniques. There is a significant relationship between high stress levels and coronary artery disease.

Created: 1/10/2004  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.

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