It goes without saying that heart health is of critical importance. However, many people may not understand just how crucial it is to be proactive when it comes to promoting good heart health and fighting off potential heart disease. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US. According to statistics collected by the American Heart Association, one American dies from heart disease every 39 seconds. That’s why we wanted to take some time to answer a few commonly-asked questions about heart health to better educate our patients.

Can heart disease be reversed or cured?

In some cases, yes. Heart disease can sometimes be reversed by attending to the most important controllable risk factors like cholesterol and blood pressure. Adjusting your lifestyle to include a healthier diet, more regular exercise, and less stress can all be very beneficial. We also highly recommend avoiding cigarette smoking, as smoking contributes strongly to roughly 30% of all deaths from heart disease in the US.

What is the connection between heart disease and strokes? 

One of the most common causes of disease is a condition known as atherosclerosis which is defined as a hardening and blockage of the arteries. Atherosclerosis is also a common cause of stroke, as many strokes occur due to the forming of blood clots in the brain or a narrowed artery in the neck. Treating the risk factors of atherosclerosis like high cholesterol can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Does taking medication to treat heart disease mean that I am no longer at risk of a heart attack?

Definitely not. While these medications can certainly help lower your risk of a potential heart attack, certain causes of cardiac episodes that are genetic or hereditary can still lead to a heart attack. We recommend speaking with your healthcare provider to gain a full understanding of all your possible risk factors in order to minimize your risk as much as possible.

What foods can help promote good heart health?

There are many foods that can help contribute to good heart health. These include almonds, berries, fatty fish like salmon, tomatoes, and dark chocolate. However, it’s just as important to cut back on unhealthy foods that are bad for your heart including baked goods, fatty snacks, margarines, fried foods, and anything with too much salt.

We hope you found these answers helpful. Maintaining good heart health is arguably the single most important aspect of long-term health and wellness, so it’s important to be knowledgeable on the subject. For more information on heart health or if you would like to schedule an appointment with one of our healthcare providers, please contact Family Practice Center. You can also follow along with us on Facebook and Twitter for additional health tips, news, photos, and more.