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Experts outline key strategies to combat heart attack epidemic

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In the United States, a heart attack occurs every 40 seconds, spotlighting a critical public health crisis. Despite the alarming frequency, experts assert that the majority of these heart attacks are preventable through informed lifestyle choices. Leading cardiologists are now emphasizing the elimination of one particular habit as essential to reducing heart attack risk.

Experts outline key strategies to combat heart attack epidemic

Dr. Gregory Pontone, Associate Medical Director at White Plains Hospital, outlines five primary risk factors contributing to the high incidence of heart attacks: age, gender, family history, certain medical conditions (such as hypertension, diabetes, and chronic kidney disease), and lifestyle choices, including sedentary behavior, unhealthy diet, excessive alcohol intake, and, most notably, smoking.

Highlighting the consensus among health professionals, Dr. Harmony R. Reynolds of NYU Langone Health stresses the importance of abstaining from smoking and vaping. This advice is based on robust evidence showing that tobacco use significantly elevates the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases by damaging blood vessels and accelerating the process of atherosclerosis.

Experts advise that in addition to quitting smoking, individuals should avoid consuming ultra-processed foods and instead focus on a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Managing stress and incorporating regular physical activity into daily routines are also crucial steps toward heart health. Even short bouts of exercise, referred to as “exercise snacks,” can have a positive impact on cardiovascular wellness.

The fight against heart attacks involves a comprehensive strategy that includes not only the cessation of smoking but also adherence to a balanced diet, regular physical exercise, and consistent medical check-ups. Such a multifaceted approach can significantly lower the risk of heart attacks and improve overall health, potentially saving lives.

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