Physician Q&A: Heart Health
Preventing Heart Disease
Physician Q&A: Eugene Valsky, MD
Cardiovascular disease remains the leading global cause of death with more than 17.3 million deaths per year. In honor of February being American Heart Month, we wanted to remind folks to focus on their hearts. We spoke with Eugene Valsky, MD of BID-Plymouth’s cardiovascular center to learn more about some of the risk factors of heart disease and ways to reduce them.
Q: WHAT ARE SOME RISK FACTORS OF HEART DISEASE?
Some risk factors, such as age and family history of early heart disease, can't be changed. For women, age becomes a risk factor at 55 in part because their body's production of estrogen drops. Other risk factors of heart disease include: -High blood pressure -High blood cholesterol -Diabetes and prediabetes -Smoking -Being overweight or obese -Being physically inactive -Having a history of preeclampsia during pregnancy -Unhealthy diet
Q: HOW DO I FIND OUT IF I AM AT RISK FOR HEART DISEASE?
A crucial step in determining your risk is to see your doctor for a thorough checkup. Your doctor is an important partner in helping you set and reach goals for maintaining your health. When your doctor asks you questions, answer as honestly and full as you can. While certain topics may seem personal, it can help your doctor work with you to reduce your risk.
Q: WHAT ARE SOME WAYS TO REDUCE YOUR RISK OF HEART DISEASE?
Regular, moderate aerobic exercise for at least 30 minutes five days a week or more can help reduce your risk of heart disease. It will also help to adopt a diet low in salt, saturated fat and trans fats. Maintaining a normal body weight and eating fish a few times a week will help as well.