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Natural Approach to Heart Disease

Quitting Smoking

For those people who smoke, quitting is extremely important in preventing heart disease. Smokers are at twice the risk of having a heart attack as nonsmokers. According to the American Heart Association, smoking is the biggest risk factor for sudden cardiac death, and smokers who have a heart attack are more likely to die than nonsmokers who have a heart attack.
 
The good news is that quitting smoking greatly reduces the risk of heart attack. One year after quitting, the risk drops to about one-half that of current smokers and gradually returns to the same amount of risk in people without heart disease. Three years after quitting, your risk of dying from a heart attack is about the same as if you had never smoked. Even among people with heart disease, the risk also drops sharply one year after quitting smoking, and it continues to decline over time; however, the risk does not return to normal.
 
(Click Smoking and Heart Disease for more information.)
 

Summary

A natural approach to heart disease involves knowing your risk factors and controlling them. In a lot of situations, this can be done naturally, without the need for medications. But keep in mind that there is no magic pill for dealing with heart disease. It is about understanding heart disease and making good heart-healthy decisions. And sometimes, other heart disease treatments, such as medication or a procedure, may be necessary -- despite all the good choices a person has made.
 
Talk openly with your healthcare providers about heart disease in your particular situation. They are in the best position to discuss your options. Together, you can decide on a plan that makes sense for you and can help you either prevent heart disease or limit its impact.
 
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