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Preventing Heart Failure – A Key that Could Cut Cases in Half

About one of every five adults in the United States will develop heart failure.

But most experts believe many cases of heart failure could be prevented, even cut in half. Many of the reasons people develop heart failure are because of problems related to hypertension, diabetes, obesity or a lack of physical activity.

Could this Alone Cut Heart Failure in Half?

Experts estimate heart failure cases could be cut in half if hypertension was under control.

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is affecting about 70 million American adults according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But only about half of those with high blood pressure have the problem under control. It’s estimated that the lifetime risk of heart failure is double for individuals with blood pressure higher than 160/90 mm Hg compared to individuals with blood pressure lower than 140/90 mm Hg.

Blood pressure concerns rise when you consider one in every three adults has prehypertension, blood pressure numbers higher than normal but still under the high blood pressure range.

To better monitor your own blood pressure, consider your activity level, your diet, stress level and weight.

Another key is just keeping track of your blood pressure. An at-home blood pressure monitor can help you track your own readings between doctor appointments to ensure you’re keeping your blood pressure down.

What Steps Can You Take to Prevent Heart Failure?

With the right lifestyle, you can drastically reduce your risk for heart failure. Of course, exercise, eating a healthy balanced diet, managing stress and maintaining a healthy weight are keys.

Living a Heart-Healthy Lifestyle

In order to control and help prevent heart failure and heart disease, it’s best to live a heart-healthy lifestyle and control any existing conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes.

To live a healthier lifestyle:

  • Avoid Smoking
  • Eat a Variety of Heart-Healthy Foods
  • Get Regular Exercise
  • Maintain a Healthy Weight
  • Manage Health Problems
  • Limit and Manage Stress
  • Discuss Your Risk with Your Doctor
  • Track Your Blood Pressure

Resources:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-failure/basics/prevention/con-20029801

http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/heart-failure/tc/heart-failure-prevention

http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Heart-failure/Pages/Prevention.aspx

http://himag-digi.heart.org/heartinsight/winter_2015?pg18&pg=27#pg27