Primary Prevention of Heart Attack
The Important Role of EndoPAT Testing
Primary prevention refers to lifestyle and behavioral changes that can be made in the absence of any known coronary artery disease and before a heart attack. Tens of millions of people the world over fall into this category.
Some people think that heart attacks are an inevitable part of growing older. But there’s nothing inevitable about them and they are highly preventable. Regardless of your gender or age, you can dramatically reduce your chances of having a heart attack by getting a regular EndoPAT test and incorporating the following changes:
7 Steps That Will Change Your Life!
1. Get A Regular EndoPAT Test
2. Eat a Healthful Diet
3. Increase Physical Activity
4. Control Your Weight
5. Reduce Stress
6. Manage Blood Pressure
7. Quit Smoking
Step 1: Get a Regular EndoPAT Test
Do you need to take better care of your heart? In the past, the best way to answer that question was to determine your Framingham Risk Score, which allows your doctor and you to estimate your risk of a heart attack over the next 10 years using seven key factors:
- Total blood cholesterol
- HDL “good” cholesterol
- Systolic blood pressure (the higher of your two readings)
- Smoking status
- Use of hypertension medication
With the EndoPAT test, there is now a simpler way to measure underlying risk that has several advantages over the standard Framingham method. The EndoPAT test and the resulting EndoScore measure your risk of developing a variety of cardiovascular disease problems—not only a heart attack and stroke, but heart failure, and peripheral arterial disease, the legs pain that result from narrowing of arteries in the legs.
Determining your EndoScore requires only a simple 15-minute non-invasive test.
EndoPAT: Conclusive Results
Results of a 2009 study conducted by researchers at the Mayo Clinic report that the EndoPAT test is “highly predictive” of a major cardiac event, such as a heart attack or stroke, for people who are considered at low or moderate risk based on their Framingham Risk Score.
In this Mayo Clinic study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Amir Lerman, M.D., a cardiologist at Mayo Clinic and senior author of the study, and other researchers, used an EndoPAT to measure the endothelial health of 270 patients between the ages of 42 and 66 and followed their progress between 1999 and 2007.
You may need EndoPAT testing to determine whether you should be making more aggressive lifestyle changes or beginning medication therapy to reduce your risk of a heart attack or related health problems. Speak to your doctor today about EndoPAT testing.
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Step 2: Eat a Healthful Diet
The food you eat each day is a powerful weapon in reducing your risk of heart disease and preventing it from getting worse. By adhering to a diet that’s low in saturated fat and cholesterol and rich in complex carbohydrates like vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, you can improve your heart health and lower your chances of having a heart attack.
Step 3: Increase Physical Activity
Regular exercise has many health plusses. It makes your heart more efficient in pumping blood and enhances the body’s responsiveness to insulin, which reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Aim for 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise such as walking five days a week, and muscle-strengthening exercise twice a week. You should also do flexibility and balance exercises twice a week.
Step 4: Control Your Weight
Weight loss is the most effective way to lower triglyceride levels and raise HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels. Combining regular physical exercise with a reduced-calorie diet will help you lose excess weight and maintain that weight over a long term.
Step 5: Reduce Stress
In this hectic world of ours, it can be difficult to dodge stress. However, regular exercise can ease stress in your daily life, as can a supportive network of family and friends. Make sure to take time out for yourself because it will pay dividends in every part of your life!
Step 6: Manage Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is the most significant risk factor for heart disease. It’s not curable, but certainly controllable with regular exercise, weight maintenance, and a heart-healthy diet. In some cases, medication may also be prescribed.
Step 7: Quit Smoking
The benefits of quitting are clear, and research indicates that it’s never too late to try, even if you’ve suffered a heart attack. The following options increase your chances of quitting:
- nicotine replacement therapy