Factors Affecting High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is branded as a fearful disease because it can catch a person unaware that he has already a stroke, heart disease or any cardiovascular disease. This occurs when there is clogging of blood in the arteries because of stored fats; thus, preventing the blood to circulate smoothly to the heart.

There are contributory factors to high blood pressure. These include obesity, poor exercise, high sodium and salt intake, smoking, and the use of alcohol and drugs. Regular exercise is needed to reduce obesity. This exercise may include jogging, walking or strolling, gardening, bicycling or participation in sports activities like basketball, volleyball, lawn tennis, golf and other sports activities.
Sodium and salt can be minimized if mixed with cooked foods. Processed and even fast foods are rich in sodium and salt. These should be avoided to lower high blood pressure. Smoking, alcohol and drugs should be gradually eliminated if it cannot be done immediately. The use of contraceptive pills can increase blood pressure levels. Smoking as well as taking alcoholic drinks too can increase high blood pressure. Try to minimize the number of cigarette sticks per day. Limit also your alcohol intake to have lower blood pressure. Prohibited drugs as well as regulated drugs should be avoided since these can cause hypertension.
More of high cholesterol food intake makes our heart overworked especially on how blood is distributed to our body. This is due to clogged arteries which prevents the free circulation of blood to the heart. So, the best remedy for this is to have a healthy and balanced diet, regular exercise and meditation.

For a healthy and balanced diet, it is necessary to include food which is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and less fat. Whenever foods are cooked, always include garlic in it. But garlic has also negative effects especially if one is maintaining medications prescribed by the doctor.

Fish should always be part of the diet because of its omega 3 fatty acids component which may lower cholesterol levels and burn restored fats in the body.

If these are not your daily food intake before, its now time to change it for the health of your heart. Coupled with this are the regular exercises and physical activities normally performed for the purpose of lowering high blood pressure. Aside from sports activities, deep breathing can make you feel relaxed which is good to your blood pressure.
Meditation can be done for twenty minutes. When you do this, the muscles become more relax, making them function smoothly. Meditation is done in a room where nobody can disturb you. Just sit comfortably with your eyes closed and make your mind empty by focusing on a single word. Meditation is like a breathing exercise which is also good to ease pressure as well as depression, distress and anxiety. This does not only improve the mental health but also the physical health

These are costless ways of treating high blood pressure. This does not involve much money. You only need enthusiasm and determination for the exercises and physical activities. All of these can fight high blood pressure.

A Remedy Intended For Heart Disease

Outside of major invasive surgery, we regret to see the various readers asking “is there a cure for heart disease disease?” a resounding “No”. However, that’s not to imply that there isn’t treatment, that there isn’t prevention, that it can’t be reversed. Rather, there’s simply no easy cure, no easy, one-stop remedy for heart troubles. So about them of dealing with heart disease, let’s simply break it down into a couple of stages.

Avoidance

Protection against heart trouble is an essential part. Once you’re dealing with cardiovascular disease, it requires extreme measures to improve it, but through prevention, you can easily sidestep the issue. The method for prevention of cardiovascular disease is fairly simple: First, you need to eat well. Stay away from junk food, fast food, anything fried and excessive red meat. Next, drink a lot of water and get some exercise every day. Finally, dietary supplements designed to control cholesterol levels can be a huge help.

The fact is that once you begin suffering from cardiovascular disease, damage has been done. Yes it can be reversed, but most patients are never quite a similar again. Prevention is absolutely, positively the most important step when controlling the threat of cardiovascular disease.

First Alerts

If you haven’t managed to prevent disease, then the best you can hope for is to catch it early. If you can catch coronary disease in the earliest stages, it’s still possible to reverse or at least stop any further damage before it becomes irreparable.

The only way to detect it early is to keep a regular check up schedule with your doctor (and this becomes more important the older you get), and to create sure that you take seriously any sign that may have to do with heart troubles. Most people experiencing the early signs mistake them for simple indigestion or heartburn, so don’t worry about seeming just like a hypochondriac if some minor chest pains have you worried.

Answering Heart Disease

Once disease has taken its course, there is usually little that could be done outside of invasive surgery and heavy medication, which is why it’s so important to deal with it early on. Unfortunately, at this point, there’s little that will be done not in the hospital. For now, just make sure that you take care of yourself, eat well, exercise, drink more water and try some cholesterol controlling supplements to ensure that it never comes to the point where you’ll NEED the doctor’s help.

The Japanese Chin Is A Healthy Breed With A Few Health Problems To Look Out For

The Japanese Chin is a very old Oriental breed who was considered by many to be of royalty. They originally lived with the Chinese Aristocracy and eventually lived at the Imperial Palace. It is believed that the Chinese so admired these dogs that the Chinese Emperor gave a pair to the Emperor of Japan. In Japan the Japanese Chin was kept by the Noble who used them as gifts to very special people.

In 1853 Commodore Perry visited Japan. While he was there he was given several Japanese Chins. He gave a pair to Queen Victoria, Admiral Perrys daughter and to the President. This was the introduction of the Japanese Chin to England and North America. The Japanese Chin had been known as the Japanese Spaniel until 1977. In 1977, the name of the breed was officially changed to the Japanese Chin.

The Japanese Chin is a dainty little toy breed with a distinctive oriental expression. I am so amazed at how the Oriental people created these dogs with this type of expression. I feel it was a work of art and genius. The Chin is a regal little dog who displays himself in a very proud aristocratic manner. He stands about 8 to 11 inches at the shoulder and weighs between 4 and 11 pounds.

Interesting to note about the Japanese Chin is that he uses his paws to wash his face like a cat.

The Japanese Chin like other Oriental breeds is a fairly healthy dog with a life expectancy of 12 to 14 years. However, as with all dog breeds, small or large, there are a few diseases to watch out for especially in the Japanese Chin. They are:

Heart disease;
Dyspnea;
Dislocated knees.

Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is characterized by dilation or enlargement of the heart chambers and markedly reduced contraction. Symptoms to watch out for this disease in the Japanese Chin are:

Shortness of breath;
Coughing;
Exercise intolerance;
Collapse;
Sudden onset of pain and paralysis, usually in the back legs.

The start of these symptoms should alert you that your Japanese Chin is in need of emergency medical treatment.

Treatment of DCM is usually drug therapy. Administer all advised veterinary medications. Watch for difficulty in breathing, increase in coughing, lethargy or sudden inability to use one or more limbs. Notice the breathing rate when your pet is relaxing. Regular veterinary visits to monitor the condition are required.

DCM is very common in dogs. The canine disease is acquired in life, but is influenced by genetic factors still not explained.

Dyspnea is actually respiratory distress. It is labored, difficult breathing or shortness of breath. The causes of dyspnea could be any of the following:

Heart disease or heart failure;
Lung disease;
Tumors or cancer in the lung;
Infection such as pneumonia;
Trauma;
Bleeding into the lungs or chest;
Abnormal fluid accumulation in/or around the lungs.

Brachycephalic breeds such as the Japanese Chin (short faced breeds) are predisposed to upper airway problems.

Symptoms to watch for:

Coughing;
Shortness of breath;
Difficulty breathing;
weight loss;
Fatigue.

The treatment for dyspnea depends upon the underlying cause. Treatment may include:

Hospitalization with administration of oxygen;
Minimizing stress;
Draining the fluid that has accumulated around the lungs;
Diuretics;
Combination drug therapy.

True Dyspnea is usually an emergency. When you first note your pet having trouble breathing, note his general activity, exercise capacity and interest in the family activities. Note the presence of any coughing or severe fatigue and report these symptoms to your vet for further a diagnostic evaluation.

Dislocated knees are a condition in which the patella (knee-cap) no longer glides within its natural groove in the femur. Dislocated knees can occur as a result of trauma or develop during the first year of an animals life. Congenital or developmental dislocated knees are more common. It is more commonly found in small dogs such as poodles, Yorkshire terriers, Maltese and the Japanese Chin. Traumatic dislocated knees usually occurs secondary to being hit by a car at any age.

Treatment in low grade cases can be managed with restricted exercise and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication. More severe cases can be addressed surgically.

When selecting your Japanese Chin it is wise to ask the breeder about the history of patella problems in the bloodline.

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Side Effects to Enzyte

I’m sure you’ve seen that ‘Smiling Bob’ enzyte commercial in the last few weeks. The commercial claims Enzyte is the ‘original once-daily tablet for natural male enhancement’ and can give you the ‘strongest, most powerful erections.’

But are its ingredients safe?

Enzyte is said to contain:

1. Tribulus terrestris 2. Niacin 3. Panax ginseng 4. Epimedium 5. Avena sativa 6. Zinc oxide 7. Lepidium meyenii 8. Muira puama 9. Gingko biloba 10. L-arginine 11. Saw palmetto

and other miscelannoues ingredients such as gelatin, cellulose, rice bran, oat fiber, magnesium stearate, silicon dioxide, dicalcium phosphate, titanium dioxide and propylene glycol.

Enzyte used to contain a popular ingredient called Yohimbe (also known as Yohimbine) until 2004, when the legal status of the ingredient became unclear (especially in Canada) due to its side effects such as anxiety reactions, rapid heart rate, high blood pressure and overstimulation. Yohimbine also causes insomnia and sleeplessness.

other than that, let’s break down the main ingredients Enzyte contains and their individual side effects:

1. Tribulus terrestris

No significant side effects have been reported with tribulus terrestris. However some users report an upset stomachwhich can be counteracted by eating some food.

2. Niacin

Facial flushing is the most reported side effect. It lasts for about 15 to 30 minutes. People taking 1.5 to 6 g of niacin per day experienced many side effects that include dry skin facial flushing in a chain, skin rashes, indigestion, birth defects and high blood sugar.

Although niacin at extremely high doses can have a life threatening effect, the dosage levels in enzyte aren’t high enough to cause that.

3. Panax ginseng

One of Panax ginseng’s common side effects is the inability to sleep. Other common side effects include nausea, diarrhea, euphoria, headaches, high blood pressure, low blood pressure and nosebleed.

4. Epimedium

High doses of Epimedium can cause overstimulation, Rapid heartbeat, and even heart palpitations.

5. Avena sativa

Avena sativa is just a cool name for oat, so there aren’t side effects.

6. Zinc oxide

There are no reported side effects with Zinc oxide.

7. Lepidium meyenii

Lepidium meyenii, also known as maca, is safe for consumption by humans.

8. Muira puama

One of the most common side effects of muira puama is insomnia because of all the alertness it produces.

9. Gingko biloba

Common side effects include stomach pain, headache, and allergic skin reactions. Although rare, several old individuals have reported experiencing seizures. Do not take ginkgo biloba while you are on aspirin or coumadin because this could cause internal bleeding.

10. L-arginine

L-arginine is an important amino acid, and does not cause any side effects.

11. Saw palmetto

Beta-sitosterol is a primary active ingredient of Saw palmetto, and is chemically similar to cholestrol. High levels of sitosterol in blood have been linked to increased chances of heart disease in men who have previously suffered from heart attacks.

I think it’s fine to say that Enzyte is safe to take, based on the safety its individual ingredients.

Be sure to look into each ingredient of any herbal supplement before taking it.

My Old And Frail Grandpa Had Open Heart Surgery And Was Home In Two Days!

It does sound like a StarTrek movie but it is definitely not!! Many elderly patients can rapidly return to their valuable lives and families after a minimal invasivecardiac operation. There is a widespread belief among well-meaning sons or daughters and sometimes even their own doctors that patients in advanced age with a severe heart ailment are too old and frail to withstand open heart surgery.The reverse is actually true: they are too old and frail to withstand their heart disease without the help of a surgeon! Our statistics are showing this important truth. The most common problems that can be corrected to save these patients’ lives are heart valve malfunctions, aneurysms and coronary artery disease. Elderly patients can live longer AND better if they are offered a minimally invasive cardiac surgical solution for their heart problem. If you or someone you care for are caught in this predicament, you can learn what to ask for and what to look for.
1.How old is too old? Age is truly a relative concept! I have seen innumerable patients in their 80’s and 90’s who had beautifully lucid minds and productive life styles and were nevertheless denied lifesaving surgery just because of their age. These patients are often physically younger than their real age and do absolutely fantastic with their heart surger procedures. In my experience, the fact that they are looking forward to a better life is by itself a strong predictor of surgical success.

2.Can your level of energy be restored by an operation? Heart disease and symptoms of chest pain, shortness of breath and weakness tend to deteriorate elderly patients by gradually taking away their life style. This is the time to have a “heart to heart” with a cardiac surgeon who can offer an effective surgical therapy to restore energy levels and a better life style.

3.Can minimally invasive heart surgery be performed in your case? Most elderly heart patients can now be helped with minimally invasive techniques and will be walking the hospital halls in less than 24 hours after their operation. Most patients can return to their lives and families in two to three days. You owe it to yourself: find out if the surgeon specializes in minimally invasive techniques and don’t be shy about asking how many of his patients can enjoy a minimally invasive approach.If necessary ask for a second opinion. An expert minimally invasive surgeon uses these techniques in the majoritymost of his patients.

I’ll conclude with a line from my 84 year old father-in-law, a recently retired internist: “Many elderly patients are young minds trapped in an old body”. Well…it’s your body, it’s your heart, it’s your life!! Help yourself to what modern medicine can offer.

The Red Dress Lapel Pin Fights Womens Heart Disease

If you were asked to name the leading cause of death for women in the United States, could you do it? Breast cancer, right?

Wrong. Heart disease kills one in three U.S. women each year about six times as many as breast cancer. The American Heart Association, in conjunction with other health organizations is trying to raise awareness of the risk of heart disease in women. One of the ways the AHA is trying to raise awareness is through the red dress lapel pins.

Although many people consider heart disease a mans disease, its an equal opportunity killer. In 2006, heart disease killed 315,930 women in the United States just about exactly half of the total number of heart-related deaths that year. The AHA created the Go Red for Women campaign featuring the red dress lapel pin to make people realize that heart disease is a serious threat to women.

Lapel pins have long been a way to show support for causes, including AIDS awareness, cancer research and support for those living with many chronic diseases. But the most common style, the ribbon-shaped lapel pin, has some drawbacks.

Ribbon lapel pins have been common for many years, usually with a specific color assigned to a specific illness or other cause. But with a limited color palette to choose from, it quickly becomes almost impossible for the casual observer to know what cause a particular ribbon lapel pin represents.

The red dress lapel pin, introduced in 2004, is meant to remind people that heart disease is not limited by gender, age or any other factor, and that women need to be conscious of their heart health. The simple red lapel pin is a low-key way to draw awareness to the cause, equally suited to an office or casual environment.

The red dress lapel pin, like the pink ribbon lapel pin that promotes breast cancer awareness, is a low-key way to get an instantly recognizable message to many people. Its distinctive dress silhouette is easily recognizable. Unlike most ribbon pins and other styles, it has only one known meaning. The unique dress shape, unexpected in a sea of ribbon lapel pins, might prompt people to ask what its about. That gives the wearer an opportunity to discuss the need for heart health in a way that the more commonly shaped ribbon lapel pins might not.

Thats not to say that other lapel pins cant make the same point. Red ribbon lapel pins also have a history of representing heart disease awareness, just not necessarily specifically for women. While February is American Heart Month, a red lapel pin in either style can easily serve as an awareness reminder throughout the year.

Ribbon lapel pins have a distinguished history of representing disease awareness campaigns. The first ribbon lapel pins were red strips of actual ribbon in the now-familiar looped shape. They were created in the early 1990s to promote AIDS awareness, and made their first appearance at the 1991 Tony Awards. The red dress lapel pin is one of the few awareness lapel pins that break free of the customary ribbon shape.

Medanta A Specialized Heart Institute In Delhi

There are several diseases but Heart Disease is the most dangerous where you always head for best of the best medical care services. Medanta is one of the most presumed hospitals in India, located in Gurgaon, provides exceptional medical care services to patients. This is the foremost reason why patients come from different parts of the world to get excellent treatment at reasonable prices.

The heart institute in Delhi aims at thinning the upsetting number of cardiovascular diseases through new and state of the art programs in patient care. The institute has highly experienced doctors, best cardiac surgeons, nurses, technicians and heart experts committed of luminous superiority in patient care, education and research.

Dr. Vijay Kohli is a prominent heart surgeon in India and director of Cardiac surgery at Medanta Heart institute in Delhi. With the use of latest technology and treatment methods the Medanta Heart institute in Delhi is patient-centric and includes academic department which aims at helping the patients and advancement the science through education and research.

Now searching from the list of best cardiac surgeons in India is comparatively much easier with Medanta. Here, the team comprises of well-reputed surgeons and doctors who have plentiful experience in treating cardiovascular diseases. Medanta Heart Institute performs cardiac surgery using:

Modern technology including Hybrid Operating Suit,
Robotic Heart Surgery
Strictly Invasive Valve and Coronary Heart Bypass techniques.

Delhi is a world-known place where one can find various world class hospitals including Escorts Heart Institute, AIIMS, Fortis, Apollo and others. A good hospital not only projects at dealing a meticulous disease but enabling the patient to conquer that severe condition and to promote overall health and wellness. Although, there are a large number of best cardiac surgeons in India but going to a hospital is a good option which also gives an added advantage of trust and technology.

How To Use An Electric Bike For Effective Cardiac Rehabilitation

If you have had a heart attack, you may be afraid to exercise. Or if you have never exercised, you may not know how to get started. However, after a heart attack, bypass surgery, or other procedure such as a surgery or pacemaker implantation, it really is important to be more active and make lifestyle changes that can lead to a stronger heart and better health. Not only that, cardiac rehabilitation can help you feel better and reduce your risk of future heart problems. It can be very beneficial for those who have undergone other procedures such as angioplasty, valve replacement, or who have arterial disease. Usually, the cardiac rehabilitation team at your hospital will help you work out a program that suits your age, capability, and your health goals; and exercise is a big part of getting you back to health, back to work, and helping you learn how to manage your heart condition.

The many benefits of cardiac rehabilitation include:

Lower risk of fatal heart attack.
Decreased severity of angina and decreased need for medicines to control angina.
Reduced need for hospitalization because of heart problems. Costs for doctor visits and hospitalizations are reduced by 35% for those who participate in cardiac rehab. Visits to the emergency room are also reduced.
Decreased blood pressure.
Reduced shortness of breath and fatigue in people with heart failure.
Ability to exercise longer (increased exercise tolerance).
Lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Decreased emotional stress, depression, and anxiety.
Significant weight loss when exercise is combined with other changes in lifestyle, such as eating a balanced diet.

So where do electric bikes come in? Well, stationary bikes are often a prescribed part of the initial stages of very low intensity exercise, which your doctor will assist you with. Once youre feeling a little more yourself again, youll probably want to get out of the house- but maybe youre still feeling a little nervous about exerting yourself too much. An electric bike could be the answer, since the motor can kick in for hills, long stretches and whenever you dont quite feel up to it. You get all the benefits of cycling- wind in your face, exhilarating down-hills, and youll be able to go longer distances than walking- without any of the strain on your heart!

And since the golden rule of recovering from heart conditions is to increase exercise intensity gradually, an electric bike is the perfect exercise tool, since you can control your exertion in increments and allow the bike to take over whenever it gets too much. An electric bike enables the rider to work either jointly with the motor, reducing strain and exertion on the body, or to ride independently of the motor when building up fitness and strength.

Cardiac rehabilitation guidelines usually suggest starting with cycling for up to 15 minutes, then gradually increasing the duration. With an electric bike there is that extra bit of help; everybody is different, and recovers at different rates. And, if you accidentally take on a bit too much too soon, you can rely upon an electric bike to assist you in returning home. You can also easily wear a heart monitor while cycling to make sure the exercise is appropriate to the program recommended by your doctor.

Some patients are not given the chance to try cardiac rehabilitation. Or they may start a program but drop out. This is especially true of women and older adults. If you have never exercised before, an endurance activity like cycling, although vital in the recovery process can seem daunting; but an electric bike provides extra confidence at a time when you need it most, and can take away a bit of the pressure. Since this is the time in your life when it is most important to exercise, finding a form of exercise that is enjoyable and not too intimidating is important.

After major surgery or when you are learning to manage a new condition, one of the hardest things can be staying positive. Being cooped up in the house on a stationary bike can often make people feel alone, or de-motivated to exercise; whereas the positive mental benefits of getting outdoors, as well as the endorphins released from exercising, will really help you feel more positive and motivated about managing your heart condition.

Why not get an electric bike for your partner too, and enjoy taking a ride out in the country together? Exploring your local area by bike is often a way to find things in your neighbourhood you never knew were there! In short, electric bikes can be extremely beneficial in the process of cardiac rehabilitation. They can help control the amount of pressure put on a recovering cardiovascular system, give riders confidence, and assist patients in the use of cycling as part of the recovery process- as well as providing a new, relaxing hobby, which anyone of any age or ability can enjoy.
(Please consult your doctor before undertaking any exercise as part of cardiac rehabilitation.)

Six Insights Into The Cardiac Rehabilitation Target Market

If you are a health care professional wanting to determine the primary cardiac rehabilitation target market, then answer the following six questions.

Cardiac Rehabilitation Target Market 1 – Age And Gender

The cardiac rehabilitation target market is primarily mid-life men. Men still have more heart disease than women, and middle age men are more likely to live to need cardiac rehabilitation than older men.

Cardiac Rehabilitation Target Market 2 – They Have Neglected Their Health.

Most mid-life men have put everything else before taking care of their health. They don’t take the time to exercise. They eat too much and the wrong foods. They avoid getting proper health exams. Many are overweight and/or smokers

Cardiac Rehabilitation Target Market 3 – Work Habits

These men are Boomers and, as a generation, have been the most workaholic of any generation today. They worked an average of 60 to 90 hours per week. Yet, are now being passed over for promotions. Many feel that their careers are stalled or over. This makes them primary candidates for heart problems.

Cardiac Rehabilitation Target Market 4 – How Well Are They Adjusting To Middle-Age?

Men often don’t take mid-life changes as well as women do. They feel less like men as their sexual appeal and appetite diminish. They lose much of their sense of self as they lose physical strength. This leaves them feeling bad about themselves and adds to their stress levels, making them more likely to develop a heart condition.

In spite of their depression and negative feelings, many fail to find an outlet to reduce their stress. They don’t talk about their feelings. Instead they bottle them up, expressing them only through self-destructive behavior. This further increases their tendency to have heart problems.

Cardiac Rehabilitation Target Market 5 -They Have Strong Family Connections

Some of these men become motivated to change their behavior because they want to live to be with their family members. Even those who originally resist change can sometimes be persuaded by a loving family member to improve their health. Living for themselves may not motivate them to change, but love for family members sometimes does.

Cardiac Rehabilitation Target Market 6- How Willing Are They To Change?

After a heart condition manifests itself through a heart attack, hospital stay, or surgery, some men change their unhealthy ways. Others refuse to make the changes needed to fully recover. Those willing to change and adopt a healthier lifestyle comprise the best target market for cardiac rehabilitation. Those, who refuse to change, often die within five years.

Thus, the best cardiac rehabilitation target market are mid-life men. The men who want to live enough to change their ways will complete their cardiac rehabilitation. They will also learn new tools and techniques for reclaiming their health. They will continue exercising more and eating more healthy foods even after their rehabilitation training is completed.

Heart Disease And Cholesterol

For years, the medical community has held that a high level of cholesterol causes heart disease. While few will dispute this belief, there are other factors that may lead to severe and even fatal heart conditions.

Conducted by medical experts, the Framingham Heart Study determined that high blood cholesterol is a contributing factor of CHD, or coronary heart disease. These study results showed that people with higher levels of cholesterol were more likely to develop coronary heart disease. On the other hand, it is unusual for people with low cholesterol to suffer from CHD.

This connection between high blood cholesterol and heart disease was also confirmed by another group of experts, whose studies showed that lowering the total LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) level could actually reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. A recent series of cholesterol trials using statin drugs suggested that lowering both total and LDL cholesterol levels could greatly reduce the chance of experiencing heart attack, angioplasty (a surgical bypass) or death due to a coronary heart disease-related cause.

In addition to high cholesterol levels, there are other risk factors that can increase the risk of developing heart disease. Even though some risk factors can be lowered with diet, medication or lifestyle changes, others cannot be altered. The more combined risk factors you have, the higher your chance will be of experiencing heart disease.

The greatest unchangeable risk factors are as follows:

* Your age. The greatest risks are faced by women over 55 and men over 45

* Family medical history. If you have parents or a sibling who died from heart disease at the ages stated above, you face a higher risk

Fortunately, some risk factors can be changed:

* Cholesterol. Limit your high total cholesterol and your high LDL or “bad” cholesterol. Lower your levels of HDL or “good” cholesterol

* Reduce your blood pressure

* Stop smoking

* Diabetes (diabetics face a higher risk of developing heart disease)

* Little or no physical activity

* Lose excess weight

If you have one or more of these high-risk factors, see your physician to find out how you can take action and reduce your chances of suffering a heart attack.

Some experts believe that high blood cholesterol and heart disease are indeed connected. On the other hand, there are those who hold that too much animal fat resulting in high cholesterol is the contributing factor to heart disease. These experts argue that there may or may not be “good” and “bad” cholesterols. They also believe that factors such as physical activity, mental stress and a change in body weight may influence the levels of the blood cholesterol, and that high blood cholesterol is a simply reflection of an unhealthy lifestyle, but not dangerous.

Experts may disagree on the factors of cholesterol and heart disease. The one thing everyone agrees on, however, is that we all need to reduce the risks and increase our quality of life.