What can I do to prevent heart disease?
Reduce Your Chances of Getting Heart Disease by Taking These Steps:
Know your blood pressure. Years of high blood pressure can lead to heart disease. People with high blood pressure often have no symptoms, so have your blood pressure checked every 1 to 2 years and get treatment if you need it.
Don't smoke. If you smoke, try to quit. If you're having trouble quitting, there are products and programs that can help. Ask your doctor or nurse for help.
Get tested for diabetes. People with diabetes have high blood glucose and often have no symptoms, so have your blood glucose checked regularly. Having diabetes raises your chances of getting heart disease.
Get your cholesterol and triglyceride levels tested. High blood cholesterol can clog your arteries and keep your heart from getting the blood it needs. This can cause a heart attack. People with high blood cholesterol or high blood triglycerides often have no symptoms, so have both levels checked regularly.
Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight raises your risk for heart disease. Calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI) to see if you are at a healthy weight. Healthy food choices and physical activity are important to staying at a healthy weight.
Explore Your Genetic Risks for Heart Conditions
It’s widely known that family history influences our risk for developing certain health conditions, like heart disease, but exactly what that risk is, often isn’t known. Genetic testing is used to diagnose rare genetic disorders, find inherited reasons for common conditions, and predict risk for some health problems.
Aspirus Genetics offers genetic counseling and Web-based personalized medicine services at Aspirus Wausau Hospital. With these services you can help learn how genetics plays a part in the risk for developing certain types of health conditions, including the following heart conditions:
- Heart disease
- High cholesterol
- Heart rhythm disorders
- Enlarged/thickened heart muscle
Receptivity to anti-clotting drugs
The Aspirus Genetics Web page offers several online personalized medicine resources.