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Tips on Preventing Heart Disease from the American Academy of Family Physicians
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, February 11, 2002
American Academy of Family Physicians
(800) 274-2237 Ext. 5222
Although nothing can be done about one’s family history or age, changes can be made to the other risk factors:
- Quit smoking — Smoking more than doubles the risk of a heart attack for both men and women. One year after quitting smoking, the excess risk of heart disease is half that of a smoker’s;
- Keep blood pressure under control — Lose weight, exercise, quit smoking and reduce salt intake to help modify blood pressure;
- Control cholesterol levels — Diet and exercise are key to lowering cholesterol levels. Limit cholesterol and fat intake;
- Exercise — The heart is a muscle and needs regular exercise to stay healthy. Aerobic exercise, such as brisk walking, jogging or biking, gives the heart the best workout. Exercise can prevent heart disease and many other health problems;
- Maintain a healthy weight — Being overweight puts extra strain on the heart and blood vessels;
- Maintain a healthy diet — A healthy diet is high in fiber and low in fat. Each day, individuals should try to eat six to 11 servings of bread, rice and pasta, two to four servings of fresh fruit, three to five servings of vegetables, two to three servings of non-fat milk, low-fat yogurt and low-fat or non-fat cheese, and two to three servings of lean meat, poultry, fish, dry beans and egg whites.
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Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 110,600 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.
Approximately one in four of all office visits are made to family physicians. That is 240 million office visits each year — nearly 87 million more than the next largest medical specialty. Today, family physicians provide more care for America’s underserved and rural populations than any other medical specialty. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care.
To learn more about the specialty of family medicine, the AAFP's positions on issues and clinical care, and for downloadable multi-media highlighting family medicine, visit www.aafp.org/media. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, please visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website, www.FamilyDoctor.org.
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