How to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke – advice by Christian Heesch.

We recently spoke to Christian Heesch, an interventional cardiologist and internal medicine specialist about simple and effective ways to reduce the risk of becoming a victim of heart attack or stroke. Below is, in summary form, what he had to say:

“For most patients, effective cardiovascular risk reduction involves five elements”, Christian Heesch said. “These elements are sufficient aerobic exercise, a sensible and sustained dietary effort, the avoidance of harmful habits such as smoking, the avoidance of excessive psychosicial stress, and, for some patients, medication.

“The importance of exercise needs to be emphasized”, Christian Heesch stated. “Regular aerobic exercise is one of the most helpful things we can do to avoid not only cardiovascular problems later in life, but a whole list of chronic medical problems.”

“Obviously, we shouldn’t smoke, and those who do should stop immediately. There are various things your physician can do if your seem unable to quit on your own”, Christian Heesch told us.

“A health conscious diet will focus on fruits and vegetables, with minimal consumption of processed foods, especially processed meats. Meats in general may be problematic”, Christian Heesch pointed out, “whereas fish, especially saltwater fish, is a good addition. Special dietary rules apply to pregnant women, and they should check with their nurse or physician on dietary changes they may have to make.”

“Stress is an important overall risk factor, and it is not being talked about enough”, Christian Heesch believes. “Excess psychosocial stress may harm the cardiovascular system, and it lead to other chronic health conditions. While stress reduction may be a complex process for many, regular aerobic exercise can be an important part of a strategy to make our lives less stressful.”

“Lastly, for those with underlying conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, or cholesterol problems, medication may be part of the picture to reduce overall risk”, Christian Heesch concluded. “Schedule an appointment with your doctor to see whether any medications you are currently taking are optimized in terms of their cardiovascular risk reduction potential. The adequate control of diabetes, hypertension and lipid problem is of importance as part of an overall prevention strategy.”

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