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World Heart Day 2019: How to Help Prevent Heart Disease At Any Age

Cardiovascular disease or heart disease is the leading cause of death in India with a 34 per cent increase in the number of deaths between 1990 and 2016. Ischemic heart disease and coronary artery disease were estimated to account for around 15-20 per cent and 6-9 per cent of all deaths in India and the US.

Heart attacks are said to be more severe in women than men. Though, the risk of heart attack rises when you reach your 50s, there are chances that you might get a heart attack in your 20s too. In this article, we will discuss the risk of heart disease in women and how to prevent it.

The earlier you start taking preventive methods, the higher the chances to keep your heart healthy. According to the American Heart Association, 80 per cent of heart disease is preventable.

How To Prevent Heart Disease In Your 20s And 30s

When you are young, you are less likely to have cholesterol build-up in the arteries due to the plentiful oestrogen in the body. According to the American Heart Association, oestrogen is a powerful hormone that helps to keep your arteries flexible and lower the blood cholesterol.

But, unhealthy lifestyle factors such as smoking, lack of exercise and obesity can increase the rate of heart attack. However, more often, one might not notice that a heart attack will strike a healthy individual without any warning.

Here's what you should do to prevent heart disease:

  • Check with your physician about the risk factors which include blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
  • Have a diet which is loaded with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and healthy unsaturated fats such as olive oil, avocados, etc.
  • Avoid smoking and take out time for exercise. You can do simple exercises which suit you.

How To Prevent Heart Disease In Your 40s And 50s

When you are in your 40s, the risk of heart attack generally remains low until and unless you have entered the menopause phase. After menopause, there is an increase in heart disease risk due to the loss of oestrogen, bad cholesterol and blood pressure rises and the good cholesterol starts declining which eventually sets the stage for atherosclerosis.

Here's what you should do to prevent heart disease:

  • Assess your heart disease risk by checking your cholesterol, and your blood pressure levels.
  • Take a CT scan of your heart which is used to measure calcified deposits in your arteries. If there is a high calcium score, you are at a high risk for heart disease.
  • Keep an eye on your diet by watching your calorie intake as excessive calorie intake leads to abdominal obesity which is a major risk factor for heart disease.
  • The National Health Service recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise per day.
  • Try not to smoke and avoid second-hand smoke, as the latter one causes heart disease in non-smokers, according to the British Heart Foundation.

How To Prevent Heart Disease In Your 60s And Older

According to the American Heart Association, by age 60 to 79 about 71 per cent of women have heart disease. At this age, the body tends to become weak and so the organs of the body start functioning slowly be it, men or women.

Here's what you should do to prevent heart disease:

  • Strength training is important to keep your bones strong and will keep your body energised. If not strength training try doing different kind of stretching exercises that you enjoy doing like yoga, running, brisk walking, zumba and swimming.
  • Track your cholesterol, blood glucose, weight, BMI, and blood pressure levels.
  • It is important to consume a healthy balanced diet which comprises fibre, healthy fats, protein, carbohydrates and other essential vitamins and minerals.

Tips For Healthy Eating To Prevent Heart Disease

  • Choose healthier fats and oils.
  • Eat, veggies, fruits, nuts and seeds every day.
  • Aim for at least two to three servings of fish or seafood per week.
  • Limit fried foods and avoid salty foods.
  • Drink plenty of water and avoid sugar-sweetened drink.

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