The simple mention of the words “heart attack” can case our hearts to race, and understandably so. A heart attack strikes as many as 750,000 of us in the U.S. each year, and of those, more than 100,000 end in lost life.
As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so it’s imperative that we each assess our own risk of developing a heart attack and take the necessary steps to modify our lifestyles to prevent joining in these alarming statistics. It’s true that there are some heart attack risk factors which are outside of our control, such as:
- Being male. Men, unfortunately, you’re at a higher risk of suffering from a heart attack than women, and at a younger age too. Even in aging, as women’s risk of heart attack is increased, men’s risk is still greater.
- Being older. Heart attacks that strike seniors (those over age 65) are likelier to cause death.
- Being an inheritor. Since heart disease is known to be hereditary, individuals with a parent who experienced a heart attack are at a higher risk of having one themselves. The risk of heart disease is also heightened for African Americans, Mexican Americans, native Hawaiians, and native Americans, as well as some Asian Americans.
There are, however, a number of heart attack risk factors over which we do have some measure of control. Following the suggestions listed below can help prevent a heart attack:
- Quit smoking – or, if you’re already a nonsmoker, make sure you don’t start.
- Exercise and stay active.
- Maintain regular checkups with the doctor to keep an eye on cholesterol and blood pressure levels, and to manage chronic conditions like diabetes.
- Make healthy food choices, and keep your weight within a healthy range.
- Reduce stress; carve out time for activities that are calming, and talk with a professional counselor or therapist to work on resolving any stressors in your life.
This online quiz from the American Heart Association can also provide additional education on how to keep your heart healthy.
Live Free Home Health Care can also help keep seniors healthy in a number of ways, customized to each person’s unique needs: planning and preparing heart-healthy meals, offering transportation and accompaniment to doctors’ appointments and to pick up prescriptions, participating with the senior in an exercise program to strengthen the heart, and much more. We can also provide helpful resources and tips on optimizing heart health.
We invite you to contact us any time online or call us at 603-217-0149 to discover more ways we’re helping seniors in New Hampshire enhance wellbeing and quality of life, where they’re most comfortable: at home.