Heart Disease Prevention
Since heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the U.S., we’re not just treating heart disease — we’re committed to preventing it from developing in the first place.
Using advanced heart imaging and screening techniques, such as a heart scan, we identify your level of risk and, if needed, design a care plan specific to your condition and unique needs. Our goal is to help you achieve your highest level of cardiovascular health.
Women often don’t exhibit the classic symptoms of heart disease, and we’re dedicated to preventing heart disease in women, specifically. Our cardiologists are experts in recognizing the easily missed predictors of heart conditions that make diagnosis challenging in women.
How to Prevent Heart Disease
The first step in preventing heart disease is getting healthy and staying healthy. This means developing and maintaining heart healthy behaviors, such as:
Smoking increases the risk of lung cancer and other lung conditions, but it’s also a risk factor for heart and vascular diseases. Research shows that smoking increases your heart rate, can cause irregularities in your heart’s rhythm and hardens your arteries — causing you heart to work harder than usual.
Quitting smoking can reduce your risk of developing heart disease and improve your chances of enjoying a longer, healthier life.
A healthy diet can benefit your heart and help control your cholesterol levels. To improve your heart health, consider eating more of these nutritional foods:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Whole-grain and high-fiber foods
- Fish and other lean proteins
- Fat-free or low-fat dairy products
Research shows that 30 minutes of moderate physical activity, five days a week, can lower both your blood pressure and cholesterol — improving your heart health. Preventive cardiology experts can help you understand your current state of health and fitness and whether or not you need to make adjustments in your physical activity routine.
High blood pressure can weaken your arteries and lead to a number of serious heart problems, including heart attack and heart failure. Your ideal blood pressure should be 120/80 or lower. To help control your blood pressure, follow these tips:
• Limit your salt intake
• Limit your alcohol consumption
• Check your blood pressure regularly
Cholesterol is a waxy substance produced by the liver that can contribute to clogged and hardened arteries, which is also called atherosclerosis. This means it’s important to monitor your cholesterol levels through an annual physical exam and keep your cholesterol at a healthy level.
Cardiovascular disease contributes to more diabetes-related deaths than any other condition. If you have diabetes, you’re four times more likely to develop cardiovascular disease than a non-diabetic person. This means it’s important to work with your doctor to take steps to manage your diabetes — or prevent it altogether.
A Specialized Team Dedicated to Preventing Heart Disease
If you’re concerned about your heart’s health, preventive cardiology experts in Houston Methodist’s Cardiovascular Prevention and Wellness Program can help:
- Assess your heart disease risk through advanced cardiac imaging and other diagnostic tests
- Manage your heart disease risk through lifestyle changes and medical management plans
- Prevent future cardiac events if you have established heart disease