The ABCs of heart health

Appropriate aspirin use

Many heart attacks and strokes are caused by blood clots. Aspirin thins the blood, which helps prevent blood clot formation.

What you can do

Ask your healthcare provider if taking a daily low-dose aspirin is right for you. But don’t start on your own. For some people, the risk for aspirin side effects may outweigh the heart-health benefits.

Blood pressure control750x750 Strong Heart

Keeping your blood pressure in a healthy range takes strain off your heart, blood vessels and kidneys.

What you can do

  • Reach and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Be physically active.
  • Avoid excessive alcohol.
  • Don’t smoke.
  • Take blood pressure–lowering medication, if prescribed.

Cholesterol management

Maintaining healthy cholesterol levels can lower your risk of developing heart disease or having a stroke.

What you can do

  • Limit foods high in saturated fat.
  • Choose foods naturally rich in fiber and unsaturated fats.
  • Take cholesterol-lowering medication, if prescribed.

Smoking cessation

Smoking plays a role in about one-fourth of deaths from heart disease. But within a year of quitting smoking, your risk of getting heart disease falls by half.

What you can do

Talk with your provider about tips and tools to help you quit. Consider tobacco cessation products.

 

Learn more about your heart and vascular care at scl.health/journal-cardiology.

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