Many patients with a high risk of com­pli­ca­tions of heart and vas­cu­lar dis­eases are often rec­om­mend­ed to take drugs, includ­ing statins. But these drugs have a whole range of side effects and con­traindi­ca­tions. Sim­ple tips and tricks, exer­cise, and dietary adjust­ments can help many peo­ple pre­vent heart dis­ease. It is also impor­tant to get rid of bad habits, deal with stress, nor­mal­ize sleep.

Drug prevention of heart pathologies

Drug prevention of heart pathologies

Ten years ago, a study in the New Eng­land Jour­nal of Med­i­cine gen­er­at­ed a lot of buzz over the idea of ​​com­bat­ing the sys­temic inflam­ma­to­ry response that can lead to heart prob­lems with cho­les­terol-low­er­ing drugs (statins). The study found that statins reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes in peo­ple with nor­mal cho­les­terol but high lev­els of inflam­ma­tion, as mea­sured by a mark­er called C‑reactive pro­tein, or CRP. The study includ­ed almost 18,000 men aged 50 and over, as well as women aged 60 and over. The study found that peo­ple who took the med­ica­tion for two to five years reduced their risk of hav­ing a heart attack or stroke dur­ing that peri­od by 50 per­cent. But many experts doubt the reli­a­bil­i­ty of the results, con­sid­er­ing the fig­ures to be too high. For many peo­ple who have a rel­a­tive­ly healthy heart but are at high risk of future patholo­gies, it is much safer to use sim­ple and afford­able pre­ven­tive mea­sures. Often, blood ves­sels and the heart suf­fer from phys­i­cal inac­tiv­i­ty, the influ­ence of poor nutri­tion and stress.

Doc­tors agree that lifestyle changes, rather than just tak­ing statins, are the best approach for most peo­ple. Experts are hes­i­tant about rec­om­mend­ing statins for peo­ple with­out a his­to­ry of car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease. There are sev­er­al effec­tive rec­om­men­da­tions that are not relat­ed to tak­ing med­ica­tions, and they help reduce the risk of heart patholo­gies.

Rejection of bad habits

It is impor­tant to give up such a bad habit as smok­ing. Tobac­co smoke has been proven time and time again to be an impor­tant source of tox­ic chem­i­cal expo­sure to humans. Smok­ing is a risk fac­tor for car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease because it increas­es the risk of arte­r­i­al ath­er­o­scle­ro­sis and can increase lev­els of inflam­ma­to­ry mark­ers that cause strokes and heart attacks. Bad habits affect sys­temic inflam­ma­tion by acti­vat­ing it and releas­ing inflam­ma­to­ry cells and medi­a­tors into the sys­temic cir­cu­la­tion. When the patient stops smok­ing, he elim­i­nates the entry of var­i­ous tox­ins from cig­a­rette smoke into the lungs, which inhibits inflam­ma­tion and oth­er tox­ic effects on the organs. Nico­tine itself is a risk fac­tor for sys­temic inflam­ma­tion and heart dis­ease. Bad habits pro­voke heart dis­ease asso­ci­at­ed with ath­er­o­scle­ro­sis of the coro­nary arter­ies, as well as com­pli­ca­tions asso­ci­at­ed with dam­age to oth­er ves­sels.

Diet Changes: Healthy Foods and Meals

For the pre­ven­tion of car­diac patholo­gies, many patients are rec­om­mend­ed a Mediter­ranean diet. Research pub­lished in the New Eng­land Jour­nal of Med­i­cine in 2013 sug­gests that a Mediter­ranean diet, a diet sup­ple­ment­ed with olive oil or nuts, plant foods and pro­tein, reduces the inci­dence of ath­er­o­scle­rot­ic lesions in peo­ple at high risk of heart prob­lems. The tra­di­tion­al Mediter­ranean diet includes plen­ty of olive oil, fruits, nuts, veg­eta­bles, whole grains, legumes. It involves eat­ing mod­er­ate amounts of fish, seafood, poul­try, eggs, and cheese. The Mediter­ranean diet is rec­om­mend­ed to avoid foods that cause sys­temic inflam­ma­tion, such as processed and fried foods, refined car­bo­hy­drates, includ­ing sug­ar. Eat­ing foods that are part of the Mediter­ranean diet can help reduce the risk of heart dis­ease.

Regular physical activity

Regular physical activity

Experts say patients can reduce their risk of heart dis­ease with­out med­ica­tion and improve their over­all health through reg­u­lar exer­cise. Aer­o­bic exer­cise is rec­om­mend­ed for 30 to 45 min­utes a day, per­formed as often as pos­si­ble. Heavy, exhaust­ing phys­i­cal activ­i­ty is not need­ed, any move­ment is use­ful. Stand­ing is def­i­nite­ly bet­ter than sit­ting. Walk­ing is bet­ter than stand­ing. Run­ning is bet­ter than walk­ing. Any exer­cise is use­ful, but you need to start with fea­si­ble phys­i­cal activ­i­ty. A study pub­lished in the Jour­nal of the Amer­i­can Col­lege of Car­di­ol­o­gy in March 2018 sug­gests that mod­er­ate exer­cise is asso­ci­at­ed with a sig­nif­i­cant reduc­tion in the risk of death among peo­ple with coro­nary heart dis­ease. Reg­u­lar exer­cise is also help­ful in pre­vent­ing chron­ic con­di­tions such as dia­betes, depres­sion, and obe­si­ty.

Reduce belly fat

Many gain weight as they get old­er, and being over­weight is a risk fac­tor for sys­temic inflam­ma­tion that can lead to heart dis­ease. As they age, men tend to put on pounds around their bel­ly area, while women often put on extra weight around their hips. Men with a waist cir­cum­fer­ence of 101 cm or more and women with a waist cir­cum­fer­ence of 89 cm or more are at increased risk of car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease. Weight loss through sen­si­ble exer­cise and a healthy diet, such as the Mediter­ranean option, can reduce the risk of heart dis­ease, experts say.

Sleep mode normalization

Many peo­ple over­look the impor­tant role of sleep in pre­vent­ing heart dam­age. Stud­ies show that peo­ple whose sleep is quan­ti­ta­tive­ly or qual­i­ta­tive­ly unsat­is­fac­to­ry have an increased risk of car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease and coro­nary heart dis­ease. On aver­age, a per­son needs at least 7–8 hours of sleep per day, and for cer­tain cat­e­gories of peo­ple even longer. Patients with poor sleep qual­i­ty (fre­quent awak­en­ings, shal­low sleep, dif­fi­cul­ty falling asleep) are par­tic­u­lar­ly at risk for car­dio­vas­cu­lar events and coro­nary dis­ease. To pre­vent heart dis­ease, a per­son needs at least sev­en to eight hours of qual­i­ty sleep per day in a calm envi­ron­ment.

Stress management

When the body is under con­stant phys­i­cal or emo­tion­al stress, the adren­al glands pro­duce the hor­mone cor­ti­sol, which is a risk fac­tor for heart dis­ease. The expert rec­om­mends a vari­ety of approach­es to stress man­age­ment, includ­ing exer­cise, relax­ation breath­ing tech­niques, yoga and med­i­ta­tion. In addi­tion, a change of scenery, out­door recre­ation, and hob­bies help fight stress.

Car­di­ol­o­gy. Nation­al guide / ed. E. V. Shlyakhto - 2015

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