Cardiovascular events such as heart attacks and strokes often strike suddenly and without warning. Exertional chest pain or exertional shortness of breath could hint at heart trouble. Seek immediate medical attention, if these symptoms occur.
The key is to control the factors that increase your risk for them: diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol, obesity, tobacco abuse. These risk factors are ‘silent killers’ because you may ‘feel fine’ even while they may be imminent.
When it comes to cardiovascular disease, approximately 80 percent can be prevented. Yet it remains the No. 1 cause of death because risk factors such as prediabetes, diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol, and obesity are not well controlled.
It can be difficult for people who “feel fine” to adjust their lifestyle and daily habits. But it’s the daily habits that contribute to risk – what we eat, the exercise we do. Daily habits will help to prevent a lot of these risk factors.
Once problems develop, it is expedient to comply with an established treatment plan, including taking medications, following a heart-healthy diet, and exercising.
It’s often challenging for us to convince patients to adjust their lifestyle and take medications for issues that don’t necessarily make them feel bad. Though in reality, prevention is so much better than trying to fix a problem once a patient has an event.
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