How to Prevent Heart Attack

Heart Disease (Attacks) & Women

Heart attacks occurs much more frequently among males than among females. This difference, however, lessens beyond the age of 60 in both sexes. As regards the environments, it is stated that in general, the quantity of food, fat and sugar taken by men is greater than that by women. More men smoke than woman. Men are more exposed to the competitive stresses of modern life. Biologically, it has been found that normal young women have a relatively lower serum cholesterol level, lesser amount of low density lipoproteins (LDL) and a higher concentration of high density lipoprotein than normal young men. This sex difference disappears after the menopouse.

This observations suggest that female sex hormones, the oestrogens, hinder the onset of atherosclerosis by their effect upon the quality and quantity of fat in their blood.

How to Prevent Heart Disease :

Heart attack is a preventable disease. The following steps will keep you free from heart attacks almost totally :

  1. Stop smoking
  2. If you are a diabetic : Keep it under control by diet, exercise and if required, regular medication.
  3. If you are hypertensive (suffering from high blood pressure) control it by diet, exercise and if necessary, medication.
  4. Avoid hurry, worry and curry (i.e. Thick gravy with lot of spice and fat.
  5. Avoid cholesterol raising food, i.e., animal fat (mostly beef, mutton, egg, full cream milk, cheese except low fat cottage cheese) butter, butter oil/ghee, cream, commercial cream toppings, chocolates, ice cream (except water ices) coconut, coconut oil and coffee mate, organ meats such as liver, brain, kidneys tc. lobsters, fried food unless fried in polyunsutreated oil (like soyabean sunflower, corn etc.) potato crips and most nuts.
  6. Daily Walking : Walking is really good for heart. If one walks briskly about four kms a day or every alternate day, it will do wonder for him/her. Walking should be in empty stomach. Alternatively one can swim or do jogging or cycling as exercise. Exercise prevents ischaemia. Exercise helps to keep Diabetes and Hypertension, controlled, increases "good cholesterol," i.e., HDL and helps in forming colateral arteries in the heart (natural bypass).

Food, drinks, medicines and other factors influencing heart disease Garlic and Vitamin E: An English proverb says "garlic doth clear the arteries." Garlic contains anticoagulants which prevent platelets to form clots. Garlic also reduces cholesterol in the blood as it contains disulphides.

Vitamin E is an anti oxident. It probably works inside the coronary artery preventing blocks. DL the bad cholesterol of the blood starts depositing on the wall of the artery by forming compound with oxygen. As Vitamin E is an Antioxident LDL cannot mix with Oxygen. As such there is less chance of blockage. Usually 200 unit per day dose is recommended. Another antioxident used now a days is beta carotine.

Smoking :

Endemiologic studies have been remarkably consistent in demonstrating a significant relationship between cigarate smoking and increased death rate from coronary heart disease. There are serious effects of smoking on the heart and the circulatory system. Physicians recommend that patients with angina pectoris or who have suffered heart attacks give up smoking because of the unrepairable action of nicotine.

Heart rate and blood pressure, and sometimes heart pain are increased by smoking. It also causes spasm, or contraction of the arterioles, the very small blood vessels in the extremities.

Fish Oil/Fat :

It is presumed that seafish oil/fat prevents heart disease. The fish fat contains a beneficial component named omega 3 fatty acid. This component prevents fat deposition inside the coronary artery and also prevents clot formation over the block. The omega 3 fatty acid reduces tryglyceride in the blood and also reduces fibrinogen, an element responsible for clotting of blood. Seafish such as Salmon, Cod, Tuna, Rainbow can be taken freely. Sweet water fish also contain omega three fatty acid. However prawn and fish egg and big sweet water fish containing lot of fat such as Pangash, Boal and Chital better be avoided. Hilsa fish can be taken occasionally.

Alcohol :

Alcohol has got two contradictory influence on heart. Over drinking increases death rate due to heart diseases whereas limited intake of alcohol prevent coronary heart disease or heart attack.

One can be affected seriously by two diseases as a result of excessive drinking. These diseases are alcoholic cardiomyopathy and liver cirrhosis. Regular excess in drinking leads to gradual enlargement of the heart and the heart losses the power of contraction. If such person does not stop drinking then he/she is most likely to die of heart failure. This is known as alcoholic cardiomyopathy.

The Farmingham Study shows limited intake of alcohol reduces the chance of heart attack in men and women by 30 per cent. The rate has been found to be 54 per cent in the Honululu Study. The daily ration of alcohol intake said to be helpful in the prevention of heart attack has also been worked out.

The amount is 12 ounce (350ml) of beer or one glass full of wine or 1 to 2 large peg of hard liquire (ref: Mansion Je, New England Journal of Medicine, 1992, May 21).

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