Every year, more than a million Americans suffer a heart attack. Having a healthy heart is essential at any stage of your life, but it becomes particularly crucial when you get older. Your body changes with age, and many of these changes can weaken your cardiovascular system. Here is a brief overview of how aging affects your heart, and what you can do about it.
How your body changes. When you get older, the blood vessels that carry blood to and from your heart will become stiffer, making it harder for your heart to pump blood. Your heart will also not be able to beat as quickly under duress. Finally, you will be increasingly susceptible to heart disease as you grow older. If you have a family history of heart issues, you should be particularly alert to any of the symptoms of heart disease, such as dizziness, chest pain, and chronic fatigue.
Conditions that affect your heart. The most common type of heart disease is atherosclerosis, a condition that causes your arteries to become clogged with plaque, blocking the flow of blood. Over time, atherosclerosis can lead to even more serious conditions, including coronary heart disease, carotid artery disease, and chronic kidney disease. It also significantly raises your risk of heart attack and stroke.
Heart-healthy lifestyle changes you can make. The best thing you can do for your heart is to reduce the number of harmful things you are taking into your body. Eating a healthy diet, lowering your intake of fatty and high-cholesterol foods, exercising regularly, and avoiding tobacco products will all reduce your risk of heart disease.
Brandon Regional Hospital has been providing the Hillsborough County community with state-of-the-art healthcare services for more than three decades. If you would like to learn more about the services we offer at our Heart & Vascular Center, call us today at (888) 327-2636.