The bad news is that everyone is at risk for developing some type of heart disease. The good news is there are some things that can be done to lower the risk. High blood pressure, high cholesterol and gum disease increase the risk factors of developing heart disease, these health tips will help keep blood pressure and cholesterol under control and gums healthy to reduce the risk of developing heart disease.
Dairy Products Help Keep Blood Pressure Under Control
Three to four servings of low-fat dairy products per day reduce the risk of developing heart disease. The calcium and vitamin D found in low-fat milk, cheese and yogurt work to maintain a healthy blood pressure level. Calcium and vitamin D supplements, whole milk and high-fat dairy products do not work as well as low-fat dairy products to reduce the risk of heart disease.
Oral Contraceptives Raise Blood Pressure Level
Oral contraceptives raise blood pressure and increase the risk of heart attack or stroke. Women who smoke and take oral contraceptives are even at a greater risk of having a heart attack or stroke, as are women who have a predisposition (family history of heart disease or high blood pressure) to heart disease.
Low-Fat Heart Healthy Diet Lowers Cholesterol
High cholesterol and heart disease are synonymous. Eating a low-fat heart healthy diet that is high in fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meats, fish and whole grains can help prevent the development of high cholesterol and help reduce high cholesterol after it has developed. A low-fat heart healthy diet will reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Good Dental Hygiene Reduces Risk of Heart Disease
The health of the mouth and the health of the heart are directly related. Gum disease, like gingivitis, almost doubles the risk of heart disease. Bacteria that forms and collects in the mouth die to poor dental hygiene and/or gum disease can enter the blood stream and attach to fatty plaque in the heart’s blood vessels and cause arteries to narrow and blood clots. Practice good oral hygiene by brushing after each meal, flossing daily and have regular dental checkups to ward off the bacteria that can increase the risk of heart disease.
Female Heart Disease Risks
If your mother had heart disease, your risk factor for developing it increase by almost half. If your father had heart disease, the risk factor is only slightly above the normal average, however, if both parents had heart disease, the risk factor increases to about an 80% likelihood of you developing heart disease.
Women should be aware of the asymmetric symptoms that a heart attack presents with in the female body. A female heart attack victim rarely experiences chest pains, the heart attack presents with nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, cold sweat, lightheadedness, pain in the jaws, arms, neck, back or stomach. When any of these symptoms suddenly occur, medical attention should be sought immediately.