I’m excited to partner with our sponsor Baptist Health to share tips on how to prevent heart disease.
February is American Heart Month, a time when we can all focus on having a healthy heart. I’ve recently have been making sure to stay more active and eating my veggie servings. I’ve seen a huge difference! I have more energy, my skin is clear and I feel strong; but what else should I do to prevent heart disease? Let’s meet some cardiologists sharing their insights on how to improve our cardiovascular health.
Did You Know 80% of Cardio Vascular Disease is Preventable?
Dr. Montana De La Cadena notes that in these busy, complicated times, it’s important to prioritize your own health by addressing factors that can be detrimental.
“People need to understand 80 percent of cardiovascular diseases are preventable,” she says. “The sooner you start, the more significant the impact will be, especially when it comes to lifestyle modification.”
Factors That Increase Your Risk of Heart Disease
Stress Can Lead to Heart Disease
“In the long run, if you have prolonged exposure to elevated epinephrine and cortisol levels, it can be very harmful to the cardiovascular system,” Andrea Vitello, M.D., a cardiologist at Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute and member of the Institute’s prevention and risk reduction team, explained recently on an episode of Baptist Health’s podcast, HealthTalk. “Cortisol raises blood sugar and increases blood pressure, and epinephrine raises heart rate. Those combination of factors — elevated blood sugar, elevated blood pressure and elevated heart rate — can be very detrimental to the cardiovascular system.”
Tips To Staying Heart Healthy
“we know that stress itself contributes to heart disease and other conditions,” Cardiologist Jonathan A. Fialkow, M.D., is deputy director of Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute and chief population health officer for Baptist Health
Dr. Fialkow says that taking care of yourself and your heart starts with finding a diet and exercise routine that works for you, and doing something – anything, every day – that gets you closer to your goal. In particular, Dr. Fialkow offers these tips for staying heart-healthy in 2022:
• Get checked out by your doctor.
• Consider medical therapy for risk reduction, if needed (i.e., medications to control blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar).
• Start exercising, and keep at it – try to get 30 minutes a day, every day.
• Focus on stress management and taking care of your mental health.
• Minimize the amount of processed or refined foods you eat, and limit alcohol.
• Get a good night’s sleep – there’s a clear link between sleep disorders and heart disease
• Pay attention to your body and tell your doctor if something doesn’t feel right.
Also, Dr. Fialkow advises, learn to recognize the symptoms of cardiovascular disease, which can include:
• Excessive shortness of breath with less activity
• Tightness in chest, jaw or arm
• Shiny skin at ankles and/or swelling of ankles
• Shortness of breath when lying flat in bed
• Indigestion with activity
• General fatigue
Baptist Health has a simple screening that may prevent heart disease before symptoms develop.
This February, Baptist Health is making it easier for you to love your heart more with a simple 30-minute coronary artery calcium test for just $49. Please keep in mind a prescription is required. Schedule your CT Calcium Scoring
What is CT Calcium Scoring?
A CT calcium scoring, also known as a coronary artery calcium test, is a noninvasive scan that takes images of the coronary arteries to determine if there are blockages or narrowing in these vessels. The test measures your calcium or plaque buildup, which is an indicator of coronary artery disease. The higher the calcium score, the higher the risk.
Why is the CT Calcium Scoring Test important?
If you’re at risk of heart disease, this test can help you uncover areas where you could modify your lifestyle. These changes could improve your overall vascular health and reduce your chances of having a heart attack or developing heart disease.
Who is a coronary artery calcium test beneficial for?
If you :
- Are 40-75 years old.
- Smoke or have a family history of heart disease.
- Have high blood pressure or diabetes.
- Have high cholesterol or are obese.
What changes are you making to improve your cardiovascular health? Let me know in the comments!