6 easy steps to help prevent heart disease

1. Control blood pressure

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Half of Russians living with hypertension are unaware that they have heart problems. This is because often the increase in pressure is asymptomatic. Even if a person feels healthy, he needs to measure indicators at least several times a year. Blood pressure in the range of 120/80 is considered normal.

Sergey Boytsov

Doctor of Medical Sciences, Professor, Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences, General Director of the Federal State Budgetary Institution “N. ak. E. I. Chazova” of the Ministry of Health of Russia.

High blood pressure is dangerous for the body. Because of it, the vessels thicken and become thicker than the walls of the left ventricle of the heart – this is the chamber that pumps blood into the arteries. If left untreated, hypertension can lead to serious consequences such as heart attacks, strokes, and heart failure. Even young people under 40 can face this. And when there are additional risk factors – smoking, overweight, diabetes, complications develop quickly. It is impossible to normalize the pressure forever. Hypertension is a chronic process. But you can control its course: follow the recommendations of specialists, take drugs if they are prescribed, and adhere to a healthy lifestyle.

The diagnosis of hypertension is made by a specialist. But you can also recognize high blood pressure at home, using a tonometer. You need to measure indicators in a calm state, sitting at the table. It is advisable to choose a tonometer with a shoulder cuff – it is more accurate than devices that are attached to the wrist and finger.

Heart and vascular diseases are the main cause of death worldwide. The national project ” Healthcare ” seeks to reduce their number. It is aimed at the prevention and early detection of cardiovascular diseases. You can find out more on the official portal of the Ministry of Health of Russia about a healthy lifestyle Takzdorovo.ru .

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2. Give up alcohol and nicotine

Smoking and drinking alcohol increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. For example, nicotine is responsible for 20% of deaths from coronary heart disease. Quitting addiction, on the other hand, is good for your health. A year later, the ex-smoker’s risk of developing heart disease is halved.

Alcohol is the cause of over 200 diseases and injuries. It harms many organs and systems of the body, including the heart and blood vessels. For example, alcohol provokes the development of atrial fibrillation, which causes rapid and irregular heartbeats.

Sergey Boytsov

Alcohol speeds up the heartbeat, increases blood pressure and dilates blood vessels – this can be seen by the way the face turns red. People who abuse alcohol develop alcoholic cardiomyopathy. The chambers of the heart expand, it pumps blood poorly, shortness of breath and swelling appear. Often the disease causes sudden death.

Nicotine and tar, which smokers inhale, provoke damage to the inner lining of blood vessels and the development of atherosclerosis.

3. Watch your weight

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Being overweight can lead to heart disease and stroke. An easy way to find out if there are problems with weight is to calculate the body mass index using the formula: weight (kg) / height² (m) . The result should be in the range of 18.5-24.9. It is necessary to check this indicator even for those who do not consider themselves complete. The risk of cardiovascular disease is also associated with visceral fat, which accumulates in the abdominal cavity. There is evidence that indicates that a waist circumference of more than 88 cm in women and from 102 cm in men may signal the presence of such deposits.

Sergey Boytsov

The external absence of obesity does not mean that there are no problems with weight. Unfortunately, often fat can be located not only under the skin, but also in the internal organs and intermuscular spaces. This metabolic obesity, which provokes the development of atherosclerosis, diabetes and hypertension.

Being underweight in itself is not dangerous for the heart. But if a person suffers a serious illness like a myocardial infarction, then both insufficient and overweight can worsen the prognosis.

The appearance of excess weight is promoted by addiction to sweet and fatty foods and lack of physical activity. Do not go on extreme diets in the hope of losing weight faster. With a long-term significant restriction in food, the tissues of the muscles and internal organs can lose mass as quickly as adipose tissue. It is enough to eat a balanced diet and move a lot.

4. Eat varied

The norm of the diet of an adult athlete will differ from the norm for a teenage girl. To find out your recommendation for sure, you can contact a nutritionist – they will even make a menu for you. But there are also general principles. For example, 400 g of fruits and vegetables should be included in the daily diet. Reduce your salt intake to one teaspoon per day. Experts also recommend reducing the amount of saturated fat: they are found in butter, cheese, cream, lard and fatty meat. It is better to give preference to unsaturated ones, which are found in fish, avocados and nuts. You also need to monitor the amount of sugar – ideally, it should be no more than 5% in the diet.

Sergey Boytsov

There are several substances dangerous for the heart that enter the body with food. For example, up to 30% of cholesterol a person receives from food. With an increase in this indicator, the likelihood of the formation of atherosclerotic plaques increases. To lower cholesterol, you need to reduce the consumption of animal fats and take medications if they are prescribed by a specialist. It is also important to monitor your glucose levels. Being overweight and being overweight is associated with a risk of developing type II diabetes.

On average, the content of total cholesterol in the blood should not exceed 5.0 mmol / l. But this indicator can change with age, so an accurate diagnosis is carried out by a specialist. The norm of fasting blood glucose is from 3.9 to 5.6 mmol / l.

It is important to review not only food, but also drinks. For example, energy drinks are high in caffeine . Passion for them can lead to increased blood pressure, tachycardia and other unpleasant consequences.

Sergey Boytsov

Limit coffee and tea to one to two cups a day. In addition to possible sleep problems, caffeine leads to an increase in the number of extrasystoles – premature heart contractions. And in people with cardiovascular disease, it can cause an increase in blood pressure.

5. Move more

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The norm for an adult is 150-300 minutes of moderate physical activity per week. It can be walking, cycling, morning exercises. When sitting, it is important to use every opportunity to get up from the table. For example, instead of having lunch at the computer, you can go to the nearest cafe. Or, if you take food from home, take a break in the park and take a walk.

Sometimes it is worth using the stairs instead of the elevator. And also – several times a day to do a short workout, such as turning the head, rotating the shoulders and tilting.

Sergey Boytsov

A sedentary lifestyle is dangerous not only because it affects the development of obesity. With age, due to lack of activity, blood flow to the muscles decreases. This provokes an increase in blood pressure. In many cases, hypertension can be corrected by exercise. For example, walk up to 10,000 steps a day.

6. Reduce stress levels

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Stress raises blood pressure. To reduce this danger, try to sleep at least 7-8 hours a day and lead a measured life. For example, you can plan your work week in advance and alternate periods of intense work and rest. It is important to allocate time for activities that bring positive emotions: chatting with friends, reading, walking in nature. Trying to beat stress with alcohol and nicotine is definitely not worth it : tension will not go anywhere, and health problems will increase.

Sergey Boytsov

Any stress, as a rule, has a beginning and an end. If the condition becomes chronic, we can talk about increased anxiety. To cope with it, you should contact a specialist – you may need medication correction.

Prevention, diagnosis and treatment of heart diseases are one of the key areas of the national project ” Health “. During his work in the regions, new MRI and CT machines, as well as angiographic complexes, which are used to check blood vessels, have appeared. By 2024, as part of the national project, they are going to modernize about 140 vascular centers and 469 primary vascular departments throughout the country.

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