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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Article Home Adult and Senior Health Prevention of heart disease

Prevention of heart disease

Heart disease is the one of the leading cause of death in men and women. The modifiable risk factors are the key in preventing heart disease. Avoid heart problems in the future by adopting a healthy lifestyle today.


Quit smoking or use of tobacco products

  • Smoking or using other tobacco products is one of the most significant risk factors for developing heart disease.
  • When it comes to heart disease prevention, no amount of smoking is safe. Smokeless tobacco and low-tar and low-nicotine cigarettes also are risky, as is exposure to secondhand smoke.
  • The chemicals in cigarette can damage your heart and blood vessels, making them more vulnerable to narrowing of the arteries (atherosclerosis).
  • Atherosclerosis can ultimately lead to a heart attack. Carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke replaces some of the oxygen in the blood.
  • This increases the blood pressure by forcing your heart to work harder to supply enough oxygen.
  • Women who smoke and take birth control pills are at greater risk of having a heart attack or stroke than are those who don't do either. Worse, this risk increases with age, especially over 35.

Get active- end sedentary life styles

  • Physical activity helps you control your weight and can reduce your chances of developing other conditions that may put a strain on your heart, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.
  • It also reduces stress, which may also be a factor in heart disease.
  • Aerobic exercises like walking, jogging, aerobic dance or bicycling. If there are problems in feet or legs, you may consider exercises like swimming, bicycling, rowing or chair exercises.
  • Cardio exercises like treadmill, stretching exercises, and cross runners.

Eat heart healthy diet

DASH- dietary approaches to stop hypertension

Foods to avoid

  • Fatty (saturated) foods- butter, cheese, curd, ghee and others
  • Junk foods (oily and spicy foods) and carbonated drinks
  • Red meat (lamb and beef) and yellow portion of boiled egg

Healthy diet for stable heart

  • Whole wheat bread, corn, cereals, whole grains (millets, hominy)
  • Fresh fruits
  • Green leafy vegetables and others (carrot, pumpkin, garlic, and others)
  • Fat free skimmed milk
  • Low fat or non fat yogurt
  • Vegetable oil- canola, olive and sunflower oil
  • White meat fish- herring, sardine and others
  • Chicken or turkey skin removed
  • Omega-3 fatty acids, a type of polyunsaturated fat, may decrease your risk of heart attack, protect against irregular heartbeats and lower blood pressure.
  • Fish food rich in omega- 3 fatty acids- Herring, mackerel, sardine and others
  • Omega-3s are present in smaller amounts in flaxseed oil, walnut oil, soybean oil and canola oil, and they can also be found in supplements.

Ideal weight for height

  • Obesity is a risk factor for high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, high cholesterol and diabetes.
  • Dietary modifications and exercise are first line treatment to reduce over weight and obesity.

Regular screening for heart disease

Blood pressure

Adults should have their blood pressure checked at least every two years

May need more frequent checks if other risk factors like heart disease exist

Optimal blood pressure is less than 130/80 millimeters of mercury

Blood glucose -glycemic goals

FBS 75-100 mg/dl

PPBS- <140 mg/dl 

  • Self monitoring of glucose
  • Laboratory monitoring of glucose


Blood glucose (FBS, PPBS)


Lipid profile

DM with insulin treatment

Depends on blood glucose level

Every 3 months


DM without insulin treatment

Every 3 months

Every 3-6 months




Cholesterol levels

Fasting lipid profile

Cholesterol type


Borderline high


Total cholesterol

<200 (mg/dl)

200- 239 (mg/dl)

>240 (mg/dl)

Low-density lipoprotein

<130 (mg/dl)

130- 159 (mg/dl)

>160 (mg/dl)


<150 (mg/dl)

150- 199 (mg/dl)

>200 (mg/dl)



HDL levels

HDL cholesterol levels

HDL cholesterol category

<40 mg/dl

Major risk factor for heart disease

40- 59 mg/dl

The higher, the better

>60 mg/dl

Protective against heart