Is it possible to prevent heart disease?

The fear of suffering from heart disease affects a large part of the population. For this it may be useful to understand how to prevent it.

Preventing heart disease is possible up to a point. The risk cannot be completely eliminated, but we can take some steps to reduce the possibility of suffering from these serious cardiovascular diseases.

Mortality from these diseases has been falling sharply in recent years, however they still represent the most frequent cause of death. The two most common diseases are cerebrovascular disease and ischemic heart disease.

What are cardiovascular diseases?

To know how to prevent heart disease, we first need to know what it is. Heart disease is a set of diseases  that fall into the category of cardiovascular diseases.

  • Cerebrovascular disease: affects the blood vessels of the brain.
  • Coronary heart disease:  affects the blood vessels that supply the heart muscle. It is also known as acute coronary syndrome .
  • Thrombosis:  is the formation of clots in the blood vessels. If the clot remains in place it is called a thrombus, but if it detaches and moves to another point in the circulatory system it is called an embolus.
  • Arteriopathy:  various clinical pictures affecting the arteries.
  • Other heart diseases : we find those of rheumatic and congenital origin. The former derive from a complication of rheumatic fever and the latter are present from birth.

Risk factors for heart disease

To understand how to prevent heart disease, it is important to know the risk factors . The latter are divided into non-editable and editable. We describe them in the following lines.

Non-modifiable risk factors

Non-modifiable risk factors are those on which we cannot intervene. Age, for example, is a factor that cannot be changed , as is gender and belonging to a certain ethnic group.

It has been scientifically proven that people over forty are at greater risk, as are men more than women. Another non-modifiable risk factor is genetics, or the family history of heart disease.

Modifiable risk factors

We can intervene on these factors by changing our lifestyle or taking medications . We will talk about these in more detail, and they are tobacco, diabetes and cholesterol.

What diseases to treat to prevent heart disease?


Some diseases and physical conditions favor the onset of heart disease. To prevent a major cardiovascular event, it is sometimes necessary to strictly control these situations which can be fatal.

Among these is arterial hypertension. It is a silent disease that over time reduces the blood supply to the heart,  which strains harder during contraction and relaxation. 

The end result can be acute myocardial infarction. For hypertensive subjects it is essential to keep pressure within the right values. 

Diabetes mellitus

Diabetes mellitus is another disease that needs to be monitored to prevent heart disease. In the case of diabetes, glucose is present in the blood in larger quantities. This increase damages the arteries so that the different organs receive less blood.

High cholesterol

Healthy adult subjects must check blood cholesterol levels at least once a year; checks should be more frequent for people at cardiovascular risk.

When cholesterol is high it settles in the arteries and forms plaques, which not only reduce tissue oxygenation, but can also rupture. The rupture of the plaques is the basis of the genesis of heart attacks.

For all these situations, medical intervention is required to monitor the situation. Sometimes with medicines and others with new lifestyle habits.

Changing habits to prevent heart disease

Although drugs are a valuable aid in preventing cardiovascular disease, the patient must necessarily commit to following a healthier lifestyle. 

The  scientific studies have shown that the following measures are able to significantly reduce cardiovascular risk:

  • Quit smoking: everyone knows by now that tobacco causes cardiovascular and pulmonary mortality.
  • Lose weight: Obesity and overweight are associated with high blood pressure, diabetes and increased cholesterol.
  • Sports: A 40-minute workout three times a week, every other day, reduces the chances of heart disease.
  • Healthy diet:  the so-called Mediterranean diet is a valid option for the control of hypertension, diabetes and cholesterol.

Conclusions on how to prevent heart disease

Preventing heart disease is possible by improving your lifestyle . While it is impossible to change some factors, such as age and gender, we can change others.

Quitting smoking, following a healthy diet and exercising regularly are fundamental indications for the prevention of these pathologies.

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