As one gets older, it becomes more important to take incredibly good care of your heart. Overall, 600,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year. The older you get the more at risk you become.
There are certain factors that contribute to heart disease which are personal choices one makes. The way to prevent heart disease among the elderly is to avoid these behaviors and take care of your heart. You don’t want to suffer in the long run knowing you could have prevented it in your past.
1. Avoid Tobacco and Alcohol
Smoking is the leading contributor to ruining health. If you’re a smoker, you’re more likely to develop heart disease earlier than most. Smoking not only causes cancer, lung disease, aging, and other strenuous conditions, but it’s a factor contributing to heart disease. This behavior you choose is tearing your body down and could easily be prevented.
Excessive alcohol consumption is also a factor leading to heart disease. If you choose to drink alcohol, it’s good to keep it under control and within the limits of moderation. It may not feel like it’s affecting your health now, but as soon as you get over the hill, you’ll notice the negative side-effects on your heart and body.
2. Exercise and Diet
It’s much harder to get control of your weight after you have reached the overweight or obese level. If you stay active and eat well from the younger age, you’re at a better chance of avoiding heart disease in the future. A poor diet will lead to obesity, which is very damaging to the heart.
Staying active every day and understanding how to control your body weight will help you keep your heart healthy as you age. A sedentary lifestyle will only harm your heart and lungs, pushing you toward that heart attack statistic each day.
3. Regular Checkups
Even if you perform healthy habits and take your vitamins regularly, you could still be at risk of cardiovascular problems. It’s a part of aging that happens to most people. In order to catch the problems early, it’s best to receive regular checkups on your all around health as soon as you reach the over the hill age. Health screenings will check your blood pressure, cholesterol levels and chances of diabetes.
Even though regular blood pressure screenings start in childhood, adults are more at risk of high blood pressure if they don’t take care of their health appropriately. High cholesterol levels are a result of a poor diet. This usually is measured every 5 years starting at age 20. Also, if you have high cholesterol and you are trying to get it under control it takes three to six months to see any reduction after changing your dieting habits.
4. Check Your Family History
If high cholesterol runs in your family, you will need to get it checked at an earlier age. There are medications you will have to take if you have a higher risk of coronary heart disease. Lipitor is a therapy with lipid-altering agents which slows the increased risk for heart disease. This prescription drug is most commonly given to patients between the ages of 40 and 74 who have a background of heart problems. Lipitor benefits the elderly and should be taken at an increased dosage every 5 years until the age of 75. At that point the dosage should be decreased every 5 years.
5. Set a Good Example
If you choose to participate in bad health behaviors, it is common for your children to grow up and participate in them as well. Even if heart disease is not in your family history, you will still be at a higher risk. It will deteriorate your health and your children’s health if they think the behavior is ok. Understanding the risks of these behaviors and how to prevent them is the key to living a longer and healthier life. Encouraging your children to avoid smoking, drinking and eating poorly is also important.
Your level of stress could also contribute to heart strain. The first step towards a battle of heart disease is usually a heart attack. Knowing the signs to a heart attack could help save you or someone else’s life. If you encounter chest pain, trouble breathing, dizzy or breaking out in a cold sweat, you could be having a heart attack.
Don’t ignore these factors. A heart attack could onset quickly or in a matter of hours. As soon as you begin to feel these signs, especially at an older age, you need to see a doctor. Have you known someone who has suffered from heart disease? What could they have done differently to prevent it?