Avoid­ing recre­ational drugs

Wellness Update - - Meet Our Doctors -

Smok­ing has many ad­verse ef­fects on the heart. It in­creases the heart rate, con­stricts ma­jor ar­ter­ies, and can cre­ate ir­reg­u­lar heart­beats. It raises blood pres­sure, con­trib­utes to the devel­op­ment of plaque, in­creases the for­ma­tion of blood clots, and causes blood platelets to clus­ter and im­pede blood flow. Quit­ting can re­pair heart dam­age caused by smok­ing. Even heavy smok­ers can re­turn to heart health. Sev­eral stud­ies have shown that ex-smok­ers face the same risk of heart disease as non-smok­ers within five to 10 years af­ter quit­ting. Drink in mod­er­a­tion. Mod­est con­sump­tion of al­co­hol may ac­tu­ally pro­tect against coronary artery disease be­cause al­co­hol ap­pears to raise lev­els of HDL choles­terol. The Amer­i­can Heart As­so­ci­a­tion de­fines mod­er­ate con­sump­tion as one ounce of al­co­hol per day, roughly one cock­tail, one 8-ounce glass of wine, or two 12-ounce glasses of beer. How­ever, even mod­er­ate drink­ing can in­crease risk fac­tors for heart disease for some peo­ple (by rais­ing blood pres­sure, for ex­am­ple). Ex­ces­sive drink­ing al­ways is bad for the heart. It usu­ally raises blood pres­sure and can poi­son the heart and cause ab­nor­mal heart rhythms or even heart fail­ure. Do not use other recre­ational drugs. Com­monly used recre­ational drugs, par­tic­u­larly co­caine and "crack," can se­ri­ously harm the heart and should never be used.

Seek­ing treat­ment for hy­per­ten­sion

High blood pres­sure, one of the most com­mon and se­ri­ous risk fac­tors for coronary artery disease, can be con­trolled com­pletely through life­style changes and med­i­ca­tion. Mod­er­ate hy­per­ten­sion can be con­trolled by re­duc­ing di­etary in­take of sodium and fat, ex­er­cis­ing reg­u­larly, man­ag­ing stress, ab­stain­ing from smok­ing, and drink­ing al­co­hol in mod­er­a­tion. Peo­ple for whom th­ese changes do not work or peo­ple with se­vere hy­per­ten­sion may be helped by many cat­e­gories of med­i­ca­tion. " -This in­for­ma­tion pro­vided courtesy of Mount Si­nai Heart

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