Dr. Lakshmi Navya Cheekatla

Associate consultant - Cardiology

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Dr. Lakshmi Navya Cheekatla

Associate consultant - Cardiology

Manipal Hospitals, Vijayawada

Conquer Heart Disease: Managing Risk Factors For A Healthy Heart

Posted On: Jun 21, 2024

blogs read 3 Min Read

Managing Risk Factors for a Healthy Heart

The heart is a tireless organ that pumps blood and keeps us alive with every beat and heart disease is a major threat to this amazing organ. It can drastically change our lives and can limit our activities, affect our work, and leave us feeling drained.

While both men and women can develop heart disease, men are generally at higher risk, especially after 45 and women after menopause. Cardiovascular diseases, including coronary artery disease and heart failure, are a leading cause of death in India, but there's a lot you can do to prevent them.


Understanding the Threat of Heart Disease

Heart disease is an umbrella term for problems with your heart and blood vessels. Coronary artery disease is one of the common types of heart condition. It develops when fatty deposits clog the arteries, supplying blood to your heart. This can lead to chest pain (angina) or even a heart attack, where a blocked artery cuts off blood flow to a part of your heart.

Three Main Risk Factors of Heart Disease

Many things can raise your risk of heart disease, but here are three major modifiable risk factors one can control:

  • Unhealthy Diet: Greasy foods, sugary treats, and too much salt aren't heart-friendly. Instead, choose a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats from fish or avocados.

  • Lifestyle: Sitting around all day isn't good for the heart. It is recommended to aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise (brisk walking or cycling) each week. Or, get 75 minutes of vigorous activity (running or swimming) - or a mix of both!

  • High Blood Pressure: Uncontrolled blood pressure damages our blood vessels, making them more prone to blockage. Regularly checking pressure and consulting with a doctor to keep it in check, whether through medication or healthy habits.

Spotting the Warning Signs of Your Heart

Catching heart disease early is key. Watch out for these symptoms:

  • Chest pain, pressure, tightness, or discomfort 
  • Pain in your arm, back, shoulder, neck, jaw, or teeth
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea, vomiting, or heartburn
  • Unusual tiredness
  • Feeling lightheaded or dizzy
  • Sudden sweating

How to Manage the Risk Factors and Prevent Heart Disease?

Though heart conditions are a growing concern, however, we still can have significant control over our heart health! Here's how to tackle those three big risk factors:

  • Healthy Diet Plan: Limit greasy foods, sugary treats, and salt. Incorporate fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats into your daily diet. You can also consider talking to a nutritionist for a personalised plan.

  • Regular Exercise and Stress Management: Exercise regularly or make physical activity a daily habit. Start with moderate activity and gradually increase intensity and duration. Find activities you enjoy, like walking, dancing, swimming, or cycling.

  • Manage Blood Pressure and Diabetes: Regularly check your blood pressure at home and with your doctor. If needed, take prescribed medication and adopt healthy habits like stress management and weight management to control it, and adequate use of anti-diabetic drugs.

Heart disease doesn't have to control your life. By understanding the risks of coronary artery disease, heart failure, and other heart problems, and taking preventive steps, you can significantly lower your chances of getting it. A healthy lifestyle is the best defence against heart disease. Our Cardiology Department at Manipal Hospitals, Vijayawada strives to provide you with optimal heart care.


Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide, but most of the risk factors are controllable, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, obesity, and diabetes.

Heart disease can progress silently for years. Regular check-ups with doctors are crucial for early detection and risk management.

Limit saturated and trans fats, found in fried foods and processed meats. Focus on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein sources like fish. Also, your diet incorporates healthy fats from nuts, avocados, and olive oil!

Chronic stress can increase blood pressure and inflammation, both risk factors for heart disease.  Relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation, and yoga help to manage stress.

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