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Heart Attack Prevention
What if there was a specific check-list to help those at risk, prevent or reduce risk of a heart attack? Well, there is a lot of advice for those who have survived a heart attack and Dr. Deepak L. Bhatt has developed a prevention check-list.
Dr. Deepak L. Bhatt, director of the Integrated Interventional Cardiovascular Program at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital, said there are several must-do steps men need to take to prevent heart disease beyond taking a cholesterol-lowering statin or a daily baby aspirin.
“Being on aspirin and a statin won’t make you bulletproof,” Bhatt said. “You still could have another heart attack if you are not doing other things that are important.”
Bhatt’s checklist, published in the Harvard Men’s Health Watch, suggests:
- Be as physically active as possible. Any amount of exercise is better than none or very little.
- Get a yearly flu shot. In people with heart disease, a flu infection can increase heart attack risk.
- Drink alcohol in moderation. A standard drink or two of alcohol per day is not likely to cause harm and may help — as long as it isn’t interacting in harmful ways with a heart medication.
- Lose weight if needed. Getting rid of that spare tire can further reduce cardiac risk, in addition to the effects of medications, exercise and good nutrition.
- If recovering from a heart attack, sign up for cardiac rehabilitation.
For men diagnosed with heart disease, cardiac rehab provides supervised exercise, nutrition counseling, training in stress reduction and positive social support are also recommended. As always follow the instructions of your care provider and gather additional medical opinions as needed.