Reducing Heart Disease

Coronary artery disease, also known as coronary heart disease, is the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women. Heart disease occurs as a result of a narrowing of the arteries that supply the heart with blood and oxygen. A buildup of plaque in these arteries causes them to narrow and harden.

The Division of Cardiology at Tufts Medical Center is dedicated to helping patients prevent and reverse heart disease. We provide our patients with the resources and guidance they need to make healthy choices that can prolong their life. Some of the approaches that our doctors often recommend include:

Quit Smoking – Smoking tobacco is one of the most significant and preventable causes for developing heart disease. When you quit smoking, your risk for heart disease can drop dramatically within one year.

Lower Your Cholesterol – Ask your doctor for a blood test to determine your cholesterol level. Having high cholesterol can increase your risk for heart disease. If you have high cholesterol, your doctor will help you develop a plan to reduce your LDL (bad cholesterol) levels.

Exercise Regularly –By engaging in moderate-intensity workouts for 30 minutes every day, you can greatly reduce your risk of heart disease. Physical activity can help reduce your risk of developing other conditions that put strain on your heart like diabetes and high blood pressure.

Maintain a Healthy Weight – Obesity can double your risk of heart disease and increase risk for diabetes and hypertension. By maintaining a healthy weight, you can greatly reduce your risk.

Eat Healthfully – You can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease by eating more produce and fiber. You can also reduce your risk by eating less saturated fat and avoiding trans fatty acids as much as possible. Saturated and trans fat increase your risk of heart disease by raising your cholesterol levels. Some of the major sources of these fats include red meat, dairy products, fast food and margarine.

To meet with one of our expert cardiologists to talk about heart disease and the steps you can take to reduce your risk, please call 617-636-CARD.