Are you at increased risk for heart disease?
If you are over the age of 55, have elevated cholesterol (or LDL), high blood pressure, smoke, don’t exercise, are obese, OR diabetic you are putting yourself at risk.
The vessels that supply the heart with blood and oxygen are the coronary arteries. With increased cholesterol, the arteries develop a plaque (a fatty substance) that causes narrowing of the vessel and therefore decreased delivery of blood and oxygen to your heart. Elevated blood pressure can be a result of the narrowing of these vessels. Smoking causes narrowing as well.
You can improve your risk factors by incorporating daily exercise and diet modification (decreasing fats). Smoking cessation is always recommended, as is having your cholesterol levels checked periodically.
If, however, you ever experience sudden onset of chest pain and pressure, pain that may radiate to neck/shoulder/arm, shortness-of-breath, dizziness with associated sweating & nausea call 911 and head to the nearest Emergency Room. Time is of the essence with heart attacks! While waiting for the ambulance to arrive, taking an aspirin may help.
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