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Preventing Cardiovascular Disease

Atrial Fibrillation
Atrial fibrillation is an irregular beating of the heart. It can cause clots that can lead to stroke. People who have atrial fibrillation are five times more likely to have a stroke than people who have a normal heart rhythm. The recommended treatment will depend on the severity of the atrial fibrillation. Treatment options can include:
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Medications
  • Surgery
  • Cardioversion, which uses chemicals (chemical cardioversion) or electricity (electrical cardioversion) to bring the heart back into a normal rhythm.

Cardiovascular Disease Prevention: Know Your Family History

It's important to know your family history of health problems related to cardiovascular disease, because the condition can run in families. Genes also play a role in cardiovascular risk factors. If you or someone in your family has cardiovascular disease, tell your doctor. Also, make sure everyone in your family is getting enough exercise and maintaining a healthy body weight.

Preventing Cardiovascular Disease Through Lifestyle Changes

Choosing a healthy lifestyle can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease or minimize its damage. Healthy choices that are important in preventing cardiovascular disease include:
  • Exercising regularly
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Eating a heart-healthy diet
  • Quitting (or not starting) smoking.
Exercising Regularly
Exercise provides numerous benefits. For example, it:
Many people think this means they will have to do a lot of strenuous exercise every day. This is a myth. A moderate exercise program will promote a lower blood pressure and help keep your heart and blood vessels in shape. The American Heart Association even classifies walking at a brisk pace for 30 to 60 minutes, three days a week, as "regular physical activity."
Also, you don't have to fit all your physical activity into one exercise session. You can break it up into 10-minute sessions or whatever works best for you. Your healthcare provider can help you come up with a good exercise plan to help in with heart disease prevention.
(Click Heart Disease and Exercise for more information.)
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Cardiovascular Diseases

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