With the right care, a heart attack does not have to be a fatal event, but it can be a scary experience that still does significant damage to your heart health. If you have not thought about your heart health recently, you could be at risk for a heart attack and not even know it. Because prevention is the best tool in fighting back against heart attacks, you should take the following steps to assess your own risk.
Consider your health history
If you have close relatives with a history of heart disease, you may be at a higher risk yourself. A personal history of circulatory or heart health issues will also increase your heart attack risk. Still, it is important to remember that a higher predisposition to heart attack does not necessarily mean that you will suffer a cardiac episode in your future. You can do a lot to control your heart health by changing your lifestyle to reduce environmental risk factors for your heart.
Evaluate your lifestyle
High stress levels, poor diet, and lack of exercise can all contribute to a high risk for heart attack. If you are not regularly physically active or you eat a diet lacking in fresh fruits and vegetables, you might talk to your doctor about better habits that you can live by. Even small changes like losing just 10 pounds or increasing physical activity by one hour each week can make a big difference.
Check the numbers
The most reliable way to determine your heart attack risk is by knowing the numbers that contribute to your heart health. Blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar are all important numbers to check regularly with your physician. If any of these are too high, there is a greater chance that you will suffer a heart attack down the road.
With the Tampa Bay Heart Institute at Northside Hospital, you can find the most sophisticated preventive and rehabilitative care for heart disease with a team of specialists serving the St. Petersburg community. To find a physician for your next cardiac checkup, visit our website or call (888) 598-9586 to reach our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line.