Cardiovascular Center: Heart Disease Prevention

Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of men and women in the United States. There are ways to reduce the risk of heart disease, including avoidance of tobacco, maintaining a healthy weight, eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly. But if patients have certain other conditions — including high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol or a strong family history of heart disease — there is a higher risk of developing heart disease. The experts at UF Health Jacksonville help patients make changes to their lifestyle and manage other conditions that can contribute to heart disease.

Risk Factors for Heart Disease

Heart disease can be caused by multiple risk factors, many of which can be controlled, such as:

  • Alcohol abuse
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Obesity
  • Physical inactivity
  • Tobacco use or exposure
  • Unhealthy diet

Our heart team experts can create an individualized plan to help control risk factors and reduce the possibility of developing heart disease.

Heart Disease Conditions

Generally, heart disease refers to a number of conditions related to narrowed or obstructed blood vessels, which can cause chest pain, heart attacks or stroke. Other conditions of heart disease are those that involve the heart rhythms, muscle tissue or valves.

  • The most common cause of cardiovascular disease is atherosclerosis, which is caused by the buildup of fatty substances (plaque) in your arteries.
  • Having an arrhythmia (an abnormal heartbeat) can also put you at a high risk for heart disease.
  • Certain types of congenital (present at birth) heart defects can also put you at risk for developing heart disease as an adult.
  • Having an infection can raise your risk of developing heart disease.
  • Valvular heart disease (damage or defect to the heart valves) can also put you at risk.

Minimizing the risk of developing these conditions — or carefully managing these conditions if a patient already has them — is key to reducing the risk for heart disease. The heart team experts at UF Health Jacksonville can help patients better understand their individual risk for these conditions and provide expert treatment when necessary.

Lifestyle Modifications

There are several lifestyle modifications patients should make to reduce the risk of heart disease, such as:

  • Diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains, and low in saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol and sodium
  • Maintaining a healthy weight and losing weight
  • Moderation in alcohol consumption
  • Quit smoking and avoiding second-hand smoke
  • Reduce stress and anxiety
  • Regular exercise

UF Health heart experts take a whole-person approach to help reduce the risk of developing heart disease and maintain a healthy life.

Why Choose UF Health

The heart team experts of the UF Health Cardiovascular Center — Jacksonville research, teach and perfect advanced care options for your heart. As the region’s leader in cardiovascular diagnosis and treatment, we are able to provide more treatment alternatives than other facilities, which in many cases means better outcomes for our patients. As part of the region’s leading academic health center, we are committed to staying on the leading edge of what is coming next in cardiovascular treatment and research.

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