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REDUCING YOUR RISK OF HEART DISEASE Margaux Guidry, MA, CSCS University of Connecticut American Heart Association.

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Presentation on theme: "REDUCING YOUR RISK OF HEART DISEASE Margaux Guidry, MA, CSCS University of Connecticut American Heart Association."— Presentation transcript:

1 REDUCING YOUR RISK OF HEART DISEASE Margaux Guidry, MA, CSCS University of Connecticut American Heart Association

2 Outline Define Heart Disease & Stroke Risk Factors: –High blood pressure –Stress –Physical inactivity Goals for your blood pressure, cholesterol and diet

3 Heart Disease Is the single largest killer of men and women in this country

4 Risks for Heart Disease Excess body weight (obesity) Inactivity High cholesterol and lipids High blood pressure Smoking Diabetes

5 What is Heart Disease? Myocardium infarction (heart attack) –Prolonged blockage of blood to an area of the heart resulting in muscle tissue damage. Symptoms of a heart attack –Pressure in chest, fullness, squeezing pain. –Pain spreading to shoulders, neck, or arms –Lightheadedness, fainting, sweating, nausea

6 Heart Disease Risk Factors High blood pressure Family history Cigarette smoking High LDL and total cholesterol levels Low HDL levels Diabetes Obesity Stress Physical inactivity

7 Who is at Risk for Heart Disease? Prevalence  with age Men at greater risk before age 50 Women’s risk  after menopause Women more likely than men to die from a heart attack

8 What is a Stroke? Tissue damage to area of the brain due to disruption in blood supply, depriving that area of the brain of oxygen.

9 Sudden –weakness or numbness of the face, arm, or leg (usually on one side of the body) –dimness or loss of vision (usually one eye) –Loss of speech or trouble talking or understanding speech –Unexplained, severe headache –Dizziness, unsteadiness, or sudden fall Symptoms of a Stroke

10 Infarction – blockage in cerebral artery that cuts off or reduces blood supply –Thrombosis – blood clot –Embolus – piece of plaque becomes lodged in the artery Hemorrhage – happens suddenly. Less frequent than infarction but more damaging and more likely to cause death. Causes of Strokes

11 Stroke Risk Factors Risk  after age 55 More common in men but women more likely to die from them. Highest among blacks and lowest among Asians. Family history

12 Heart has to work harder. Since heart muscle is working harder, it can become enlarged. Wear and tear on the arterial wall can increase the likelihood of lipid and calcium deposits adhering to the arterial wall. This leads to hardening of the arteries. Why is High Blood Pressure a Risk Factor?

13 Why is Stress a Risk Factor? Exaggerated increases in blood pressure, heart rate, catecholamines, corticosteroids High levels of these hormones can damage heart and blood vessels Presence of epinephrine (a catecholamine) increases the formation of clots.

14 Why is Physical Inactivity a Risk Factor?

15 Why is Obesity a Risk Factor? Body weight at least 20% more than desirable weight  body mass index (BMI)  waist size increases risk of heart disease

16 Blood Lipids (Fats) Normal Artery Source: Pfizer, Inc.

17 Blood Lipids (Fats) Occluded (clogged) Artery Source: Pfizer, Inc.

18 Blood Lipids (Fats) LDL (bad) cholesterol Total Cholesterol HDL (good) cholesterol Triglycerides Have blood fats checked every 5 years after age 20

19 LDL Cholesterol Goal depends on risk status Less than 130 mg/dl for most people  Less than 100 mg/dl if diabetes or heart disease

20 Total Cholesterol General goal: Less than 200 mg/dl

21 HDL Cholesterol Low HDL (good cholesterol) increase heart disease risk Less than 35 mg/dl is too low If diabetes > 45 mg/dl - men >55 mg/dl - women

22 Triglycerides Goal: less than 200 mg/dl for most people less than 150 mg/dl if diabetes

23 Factors That Increase Cholesterol Inactivity Saturated and trans fat, cholesterol Smoking Heredity

24 Hypertension Systolic (upper number) - measures the force blood exerts on artery wall when the heart beats  Diastolic (lower number) - measures the force on the arteries between heart beats

25 Hypertension Blood pressure goal for most people: 140/90 With diabetes: 130/80

26 General Principles Habits throughout life affect heart and overall health Good health depends on overall eating pattern - not just one meal Any modifications depend on one’s health, preferences and culture

27 LDL Cholesterol Major foods that increase LDL: –Saturated fats –Trans fatty acids –Cholesterol (lesser extent)

28 Ways to lower LDL: Polyunsaturated fats Monounsaturated fat when substituted for saturated fat Soluble fiber and soy protein (lesser extent)  Weight loss in some people

29 Fat Consumption Less than or equal to 30% of calories Saturated and trans fatty acids less than 10% of calories or 7% if already have heart disease or diabetes

30 Words for Look For When Avoiding Trans Fats Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil

31 Maintain Healthy Weight Limit foods high in calories –Less high sugar foods –Less than fat Avoid emphasis on low-fat or fat-free foods

32 Maintain Healthy Weight Exercise at least 30-60 minutes most days Watch less T.V. and sit less Balance calories consumed and calories expended

33 Summary Consume a variety of fruits, vegetables and grains Include non-fat and low fat dairy, fish, legumes, poultry and lean meat  Control weight

34 Questions? Margaux Guidry, MA, CSCS University of Connecticut School of Allied health Phone: 860-486-5975 Email:


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