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Heart Attack and Unstable Angina - Prevention

You can help prevent a heart attack by taking steps that slow or prevent coronary artery disease—the main risk factor for a heart attack. A heart-healthy lifestyle is important for everyone, not just for people who have health problems. It can help you keep your body healthy and lower your risk of a heart attack.

Make lifestyle changes

  • Quit smokingQuit smoking. It may be the best thing you can do to prevent heart disease. You can start lowering your risk right away by quitting smoking. Also, avoid secondhand smoke.
    Interactive Tool: Are You Ready to Quit Smoking?
  • Exercise. Being active is good for your heart and blood vessels, as well as the rest of your body. Being active helps lower your risk of health problems. And it helps you feel good. Try to exercise for at least 30 minutes on most, if not all, days of the week. Talk to your doctor before starting an exercise program.
    Fitness: Getting and Staying Active
  • Eat a heart-healthy diet. The way you eat can help you lower your risk. There are a few heart-healthy eating plans to choose from. Remember that some foods you may hear about are just fads that don't prevent heart disease at all.
    Comparing Heart-Healthy Diets(What is a PDF document?)
  • Reach and stay at a healthy weight. A healthy weight is a weight that lowers your risk for health problems including heart disease. Eating heart-healthy foods and being active can help you manage your weight and lower your risk.
    Weight Management

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.

Take aspirin to prevent a heart attack

Taking daily aspirin might lower your chances of having a heart attack. Talk with your doctor before taking aspirin every day. To see if aspirin is right for you, you and your doctor will balance the benefits and the risks of taking a daily aspirin.

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

For more information, see the topic Low-Dose Aspirin Therapy.

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