Cardiovascular Disease, also known as CVD or heart disease, is a one of the biggest threats to senior health. According to the American Heart Association’s 2002 to 2012 national health and nutrition examination survey; nearly 70% of Americans over the age of 60 suffered from a form ofheart disease. For people over the age of 80, over 85% of the population had at least one type of heart disease.
What is a heart disease? A heart disease is a blanket term used to describe a number of different health conditions that affect the heart. Symptoms can range from mild chest pains to a heart attack or stroke. There are various types of serious heart conditions including:
· coronary heart disease
· high blood pressure
· heart failure
· atrial fibrillation and stroke
Many seniors believe that increased risk to heart disease is an unavoidable part of aging. Though the risk for heart disease will increase as we get older, it doesn’t have to be an inescapable fact of getting older. The truth is, there are many ways to keep your heart in good shape.
Using proven lifestyle habits and eating a heart healthy diet can reduce your risk. One of the best things you can do is focus on eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean protein and fiber. Below are some signs to watch out for and habits you can do at home to prevent heart disease.
Watch for Heart Disease Symptoms
The warning signs of heart disease may not appear until you have a heart attack. Watch out for the following symptoms to spot a potential emergency.
· Weakness or feelings of light-headedness
· Trouble catching your breath
· Feeling faint
· Sharp pains in the neck, back or shoulder areas
· Irregular heartbeat
How to Reduce Risk for Heart Disease
There are a multitude of conditions that can cause heart disease and increase your risk of suffering a heart attack. Treatments and preventative measures require that you keep health issues that increase your risk for heart problems under control. Common ways to lower your risk for heart disease include:
· Lowering high blood pressure
· Lowering cholesterol level
· Keeping diabetes under control
· Medications for chest pains
7 Steps to Prevent Heart Disease
You can keep your heart healthy at any age, but it takes some effort. You may have to some lifestyle changes. Always consult with your physician before trying any new diet or exercise regimen. Here’s how you can get started.
Get Enough Exercise. Aim to get a minimum of 30 minutes exercise every day.
Eat a Heart Healthy Diet. Stock up on foods to keep your heart healthy like fresh fruits and vegetables. Limit your intake of salt, fats and foods containing high cholesterol.
Stop Smoking. If you smoke it’s time to give it up. Smoking is the single most preventable cause of heart disease.
Monitor YourProgress. Get regular checkups from your physician and watch your numbers. Your physician can help you monitor conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol.
Reduce Alcohol Intake. Drinking excess amounts of alcohol can increase risk for a number of heart diseases.
Manage Your Weight. Being overweight drastically increases your risk for heart disease. To avoid this, maintain a healthy weight for your height and body type.
Lower Your Stress Levels. Stress can increase your risk of many heart diseases that older people face. Find healthy ways to reduce stress and lower your risk for heart conditions.
It’s never too late to start living a healthy lifestyle. Working with a doctor can help you manage health problems and reduce your risk for heart disease.