High cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease because it can cause blockage in the arteries, preventing blood from reaching the heart and circulating properly. People who keep their total cholesterol under 200 mg/dL can decrease their risk for heart disease. There are several ways that this can be accomplished. Lifestyle changes are often enough to get cholesterol numbers in a normal range. This includes dietary changes and an increase in regular exercise. Some patients may need to take medication to get their cholesterol levels into a healthy range, as well.
People who have high blood pressure have a higher risk of damaging the blood vessel walls, having a heart attack, having a stroke, having kidney failure, and having heart failure. There are several ways that blood pressure can be brought down to healthy levels. This includes losing excess weight, exercising more, eating less sodium, keeping alcohol intake minimal, and eating a healthy low-fat diet overall. Some people who have high blood pressure may need to take medication to achieve normal blood pressure, as well.
Most people who suffer from diabetes will also suffer from heart disease eventually. People who have a resting blood sugar reading of over 100 may have diabetes or pre-diabetes. Diabetes can be managed very effectively with the help of the doctor. This includes healthy lifestyle choices as well as insulin or other diabetes control medications.
People who have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes need to be particularly mindful of heart disease prevention, but everyone can take actions to help them achieve a healthier heart. People who are overweight should make every effort to reach a healthy weight, and regular exercise is also important. Blood pressure should always be monitored, even if it's in a normal range. Avoid smoking, drinking, and fatty foods to give the heart the best chance at good heart health.