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Heart Failure - Prevention

The best way to prevent heart failure is to have a heart-healthy lifestyle and control existing health problems like high blood pressure and diabetes.

To reduce your risk:

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Understanding Heart Failure -- Diagnosis and Treatment

Doctors diagnose heart failure by taking a medical history and conducting a physical exam and tests. During the medical history your doctor will want to know if: You have any other health problems such as diabetes, kidney disease, angina (chest pain), high blood pressure, or other heart problems You smoke You drink alcohol, and if so, how much You are taking medications. During the physical, the doctor will check your blood pressure, use a stethoscope to hear sounds associated...

Read the Understanding Heart Failure -- Diagnosis and Treatment article > >

  • Don't smoke. If you smoke, quit. Avoid secondhand smoke too.
  • Eat heart-healthy foods. Eat fruits, vegetables, fish, lean meats, and whole grains. Choose foods that are low in saturated fat and avoid trans fat. Limit sodium, alcohol, and sugar.
  • Get regular exercise. Try to do activities that raise your heart rate. Aim for at least 2½ hours of moderate exercise a week.1
  • Stay at a healthy weight. Lose weight if you need to.
  • Manage other health problems that can raise your risk of heart disease and heart failure. These include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. You can use heart-healthy lifestyle changes along with medicines to manage these conditions.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 12, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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