Heart Disease Q & A

Heart disease is the leading cause of death and disability in the United States. There isn’t a single type of heart disease; it takes many forms. The most common is narrowing or blockage of arteries, which happens slowly over time and is the primary cause of heart attacks. Visit Annandale Primary Care in Annandale, Virginia, for a heart disease screening today. Call or schedule an appointment online.

How can I reduce my risk of heart disease?

To reduce your risk of heart disease, take the following steps for better health:

What if I have high blood pressure?

High blood pressure (hypertension) symptoms can vary widely in individuals. In fact, it often has no symptoms, which is why the disease is called the “silent killer.” If you have headaches, dizziness, shortness of breath, or chest pain, you might be one of the over 75 million Americans who has high blood pressure.

Some causes of high blood pressure are:

High blood pressure is preventable and treatable. Two easy things you can do are eat a healthy, balanced diet, and exercise. Prescription medications are also available.

What if I have high cholesterol?

There are two types of cholesterol: LDL (low-density lipoprotein) is bad cholesterol, meaning it increases your risk of heart disease, and HDL (high-density lipoprotein), which is good and lowers your risk of heart disease. When you have too much bad cholesterol, it builds up in your arteries and causes narrowing or a blockage that can lead to a heart attack or stroke.

The doctors at Annandale Primary Care monitor their patients’ cholesterol levels to reduce the risk of heart disease or other complications. Cholesterol, plus your blood pressure, age, race, genetics, weight and lifestyle choices, are all taken into account when looking for signs of heart disease.

You can reduce your cholesterol by choosing foods low in saturated fat and cholesterol, and by cutting out trans fats. Overweight people have lower HDL, so losing weight improves their situation. Exercise can also raise your HDL levels.

What is the best way to prevent heart disease?

Healthy eating habits can go a long way towards heart disease prevention. Making healthy food choices on a daily basis can keep your cholesterol, blood pressure, and weight low. Staying at a healthy weight and losing weight if you need to are also very important. In fact, losing weight is a key aspect of lowering your blood pressure, as is exercise. Even doing moderate activity for two or three hours a week has tremendous benefits. Visit Annandale Primary Care to make a plan for lifelong heart health. 

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Undiagnosed patients can unknowingly transmit the disease to others. Early diagnosis can help to prevent or stop an outbreak.