Start an exercise program (if
your doctor says it's safe). Try walking, swimming, biking, or jogging for at
least 30 minutes on most, if not all, days of the week. You may need to start
slow and build up to this amount. Any activity you enjoy will work, as long as
it gets your heart rate up. In people with heart disease, exercise can help lower the chance of a heart attack.
Aspirin. Your doctor will probably recommend that you
aspirin every day. Aspirin can reduce the risk of
having a heart attack in people with heart disease. Lower doses seem to work as
well as higher doses to prevent heart attacks, and they have fewer side
effects. Talk with your doctor before you start taking aspirin. For more
information, see the topic:
- Aspirin: Should I Take Daily Aspirin to Prevent a Heart Attack or Stroke?
Cholesterol. If you have average to
high cholesterol, your doctor may prescribe a
medicine to lower your cholesterol, such as a
statin. For more information, see the topic:
- High Cholesterol: Should I Take Statins?
Chest pain. If you have chest pain
or discomfort (angina), your doctor may prescribe medicines such
After you start treatment for
coronary artery disease, your doctor will want to keep
track of how you are doing. He or she will want to know if you've made
lifestyle changes and if they have helped. For example, your
cholesterol, and weight will be checked. These
measures will help your doctor find out if lifestyle changes are working.
If you take medicines, your doctor will want to know if you feel
any side effects. If you take medicine for angina (chest pain or discomfort), your
doctor will want to know how well it works. Does the medicine ease your pain
quickly? Do you get chest pain less often?
You will likely need to
keep taking medicines that lower your cholesterol and blood pressure and that
reduce your risk of having a heart attack. Your doctor will also want to check
how well these medicines work for you. If they're not working, he or she may
want you to try a different dose or take a different kind of medicine.