Prevent heart diseases, 9 ways

How to prevent you getting heart diseases:

  1. Health protectors
  2. 9 ways to prevent heart diseases
  3. Emergency Actions    [Time to read: 8 mins]

1. Health protectors

  • human heartYour lifestyle can protect your heart,  or put you at high risk of heart problems.  Best “Health protectors” to help you prevent heart diseases and strokes [1] are:
  • Total cholesterol level less than or equal to 5 mmol/Lhalf of all adults in England have too high cholesterol [33].  Reducing LDL cholesterol by 1 mmol/L for 5 years lowers your risks of heart diseases & strokes by 1 in 4 (25%) [Lancet, Dec. 2017].
  • Blood pressure less than 130/80 mm Hg.  7 million UK people are unaware they have high blood pressure [BHF, 2018]. Yet it affects 1 in every 4 adults, and can lead to heart diseases, strokes, dementia [42] and kidney diseases [32].
  • No diabetes; how to prevent diabetes if at risk.
  • If you smoke, Stop sign Use a free NHS local stop smoking service.  Here are Stop smoking treatments from the NHS.

If you have all of these health protectors, 20 years of medical research shows:                 pointing finger2You are likely to live 6 to 9 years longer, and enjoy life more [25, 33].

2.  9 steps to prevent heart diseases

2.1.  Begin by checking your personal risk of getting heart disease. Use NHS Choices heart age calculator – takes 3 minutes, and advises how to reduce your heart age.

2.2.  To keep your heart healthy, plan your exercise & diet. Are you a healthy weight? NHS Choices weight chart will tell you. Being overweight is a big risk [11].

2.3. Don’t smoke – use free NHS local stop smoking service. Enter in your own health plan.

2.4. Keep your blood pressure down – here are 5 steps you can take.

2.5. If you have diabetes, better blood sugars control reduces your risks [4].    4 people with diabetes out of every 5 die from heart diseases and strokes [18].

heart attack

2.6. Want to know what it is like to have a heart attack? Got 2 minutes? Watch your own heart attack, a video by British Heart Foundation.

2.7.  Look at NHS Choices Q&As on preventing heart diseases and preventing strokes,

2.8. Here are 12 extra ways to cut your blood pressure without drugs. Small changes can improve your health [10, 25].

2.9. Actions? pointing finger2Have you agreed a personal, written,  management plan to reduce your heart risks with your doctor [11]? If not, start to draft your own health plan and take to discuss with your GP.  Keep on adding to it, e.g. as the high blood pressure guideline changed in Nov. 2017! [35].

3. Actions if heart emergency near you. Think and act ‘FAST’:

treatmentOptionsIconIf it could be a heart attack, get help immediately, says St John Ambulance, If you experience any of these heart attack warning signs.  Call 999.  Give the person a 300 mg aspirin. if feeling:

  • Chest discomfort, or discomfort in other areas of the upper body,
  • Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
  • Other signs may include breaking out in a cold sweat, wanting to be sick or feeling light in the head. Call 999.

Giving CPRIf a person is unresponsive and not breathing, this means the heart has stopped. First check that you and the person are not in any danger. If you are, make the situation safe. When it’s safe to do so, assess the person and dial 999 for an ambulance.  Now do CPR (which is short for cardiopulmonary resuscitation). As St John Ambulance says, “CPR involves giving someone a combination of 30 chest compressions then 2 rescue breaths, and repeat to keep their heart and circulation going, to save their life”.

Medical disclaimer             Easier Access  easier access symbol s

page updated 15 Oct. 2018.  © social enterprise™ Ltd.

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