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Heart Disease Prevention

Preventing cardiovascular disease.

Currently practiced measures to prevent cardiovascular disease include:

  • A low-fat, high-fiber diet including whole grains and fruit and vegetables. Five portions a day reduces risk by about 25%.
  • Tobacco cessation and avoidance of second-hand smoke
  • Limit alcohol consumption to the recommended daily limits consumption of 1-2 standard alcoholic drinks per day may reduce risk by 30% However excessive alcohol intake increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Lower blood pressures, if elevated
  • Decrease body fat if overweight or obese
  • Increase daily activity to 30 minutes of vigorous exercise per day at least five times per week (multiply by three if horizontal);
  • Reduce sugar consumptions
  • Decrease psychosocial stress. Stress however plays a relatively minor role in hypertension (if it even plays any role in the development of hypertension at all is often disputed). Specific relaxation therapies are not supported by the evidence.

For adults without a known diagnosis of hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, or cardiovascular disease, routine counseling to advise them to improve their diet and increase their physical activity has not been found to significantly alter behavior, and thus is not recommended. It is unclear whether or not dental care in those with periodontitis affects the risk of cardiovascular disease. Exercise in those who at high risk of heart disease has not been well studied as of 2014.