Heart and blood vessel disease - cardiovascular disease, is a condition in which plaque builds up inside the coronary arteries which supply your heart muscle with oxygen-rich blood.
Plaque is made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium and other substances found in the blood. When plaque builds up in arteries, it reduces the blood flow to your heart muscle and makes it more likely that blood clots will form in your arteries. If a blood clot forms, it can stop the blood flow which can cause a heart attack or stroke.
Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the most common type of heart disease. It’s the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women. And, approximately 795,000 Americans suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.
Certain traits, conditions or habits, called risk factors, may raise your chance of developing CAD or stroke.
There are two types of risk factors.
Those you cannot modify —
• Family history
And, those you can modify or control through lifestyle changes or medication —
• High blood pressure
• High blood cholesterol
• Physical inactivity
• Being overweight or obese
The good news is that lifestyle changes, medicines, and/or medical procedures can effectively prevent or treat CAD in most people. Here are just a few simple things that you can do to help reduce your risk:
• Get active
• Eat healthier
• Control your cholesterol
• Manage your blood pressure
• Stay at your healthy weight
• Avoid excess stress
• Don’t smoke
Seton Health/St. Mary’s and Samaritan hospitals are offering free and informative programs to provide you with suggestions and strategies to live a more healthy life.
Step up and Just Walk with a Doc. Join cardiologists on a monthly walk to improve your your health, learn about important health topics, and meet new friends interested in improving their health with you. You'll get to spend time with physicians, get to know them , and ask medical questions in an informal, relaxed and fun way!