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Coronary Artery Disease - Prevention

You can help prevent coronary artery disease by taking steps toward a heart-healthy lifestyle. A heart-healthy lifestyle can also help you reduce risk factors such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

Use lifestyle changes

  • Quit smokingQuit smoking. Avoid secondhand smoke too. Quitting smoking may be the best thing you can do to prevent heart disease.
  • Exercise. There are lots of ways that exercise boosts your heart health. It can improve cholesterol and blood pressure. It can also help you reach a healthy weight. Talk to your doctor before starting an exercise program to make sure that it's safe for you.
  • Eat a heart-healthy diet. The way you eat can help you control your cholesterol and blood pressure.
  • Stay at a healthy weight. Being active and eating healthy foods can help you stay at a healthy weight or lose weight if you need to.

Manage other health problems

Manage other health problems that raise your risk for a heart attack. These include diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. A heart-healthy lifestyle can help you manage these problems. But you may also need to take medicine.

Statins: Should I Take Them?
High Blood Pressure: Should I Take Medicine?

Ask your doctor about aspirin

If you're already at risk for heart disease, taking daily aspirin may reduce your chances of having a stroke or a heart attack. That's because a daily aspirin lowers your risk of getting blood clots. Blood clots can lead to a heart attack in people with heart disease. Clots can also cause heart attacks in people who have other problems that can lead to heart disease, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

Taking aspirin has some risks. Talk with your doctor before starting aspirin treatment.

Aspirin: Should I Take Daily Aspirin to Prevent a Heart Attack or Stroke?

Reduce stress

Stress can hurt your heart. Keep stress low by talking about your problems and feelings, rather than keeping your feelings hidden. Try different ways to reduce stress, such as exercise, deep breathing, meditation, or yoga.

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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