Making Lifestyle Changes to Stop Heart Disease

Scientists have identified the first gene confirmed as a cause of coronary heart disease in humans. The gene, MEF2A, was discovered by studying the genetic makeup of 21 members of an Iowa family that was plagued for generations by incidents of coronary artery disease and heart attack.

What discovered is that people with this exact MEF2A mutation have a 100-percent chance of having a heart attack or developing coronary artery disease. We can tell if someone is going to have a heart attack, it’s just a matter of when. For these people, lifestyle choices such as weight, blood pressure and diet are imperative to delay the onset of heart disease for as long as possible.

An important component of heart disease is genetic. However, even if you have genetic factors, it doesn’t mean heart disease has to be inevitable. There are things you can do, and proven therapies you can apply to reduce your risk.

To reduce your risk of developing heart disease, follow these steps:

If you smoke, stop.
Eat a well balanced diet.
Lose weight if you are overweight.
Keep your blood pressure in the proper range.
Get regular physical activity.
Keep your cholesterol levels in a healthy range.

For patients at risk of developing heart disease, doctors can prescribe medications to help them delay or prevent the disease. These may include aspirin, CTEP, cholesterol-lowering statins, or ACE inhibitors.

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