Preventing Heart Attacks

Talk to your family doctor about your specific risk factors for a heart attack and how to reduce your risk. Your doctor may tell you to do the following:

  • Quit smoking. Your doctor can help you. (If you don’t smoke, don’t start!)
  • Eat a healthy diet. Cut back on foods high in saturated fat and sodium (salt) to lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Ask your doctor about how to start eating a healthy diet.
  • Control your blood sugar if you have diabetes.
  • Exercise. This sounds hard if you haven’t exercised for a while, but try to work up to at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise (that raises your heart rate) at least 4 times a week.
  • Lose weight if you’re overweight. Your doctor can advise you about the best ways to lose weight.
  • Control your blood pressure if you have hypertension.

Talk to your doctor about whether aspirin would help reduce your risk of a heart attack. Aspirin can help keep your blood from forming clots that can eventually block the arteries.

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