Cardiovascular disease occurs when plaque builds up in the blood vessels over time, causing blockages in the heart and other vessels throughout the body. In recent years, the prevalence of cardiovascular disease amongst men and women in the US has been on the rise, according to a study from the American Heart Association. This may be, in part, because of the frequent increase of risk factors such as weight gain, diabetes and high cholesterol levels. It’s not all bad news though – early prevention and treatment of these conditions oftentimes results in better long-term outcomes and may even reverse a poor prognosis.
Ultimately, prevention is a much more effective solution for cardiovascular disease compared to treatment, which aims to reverse existing damage. Some of the most effective strategies to prevent the onset of heart disease include:
- Physical activity: Adding some type of exercise to your daily routine – such as walking, running, or yoga – will benefit your heart health by maintaining good cholesterol levels and a healthy weight, in addition to lowering your blood pressure and improving circulation.
- Healthy diet: It’s important to maintain a balanced diet, which includes eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, while simultaneously consuming less sodium, sugars, and fats.
- Know your numbers: Blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose – these numbers can often detect the first warning signs of heart disease so it’s important to keep up with them.
Despite these preventions efforts, however, cardiovascular disease can still occur that requires treatment. At First Coast Cardiovascular Institute, we are proud to be pioneers in research, bringing our patients the latest treatment methods and minimally-invasive technologies. With a diverse team of cardiovascular specialists – in addition to sleep medicine, pulmonology, and wound care physicians – we offer our patients a multidisciplinary approach to their care.