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The heart of the matter: A look at heart care at every age

The heart of the matter: A look at heart care at every age

When you think about heart attacks or heart disease, you may think of them as conditions that affect older adults. While it’s true they’re more common as you get older, they can affect anyone at any age. That’s why you need heart care at every age.

Heart health conditions, like most health conditions, are more common as we age. That’s because we put wear and tear on our bodies over time—and certain lifestyle choices, including eating a diet high in saturated fat or not exercising regularly, are associated with heart disease.

What would happen, though, if you changed your habits to make them healthier? You could lower your risk of heart disease and heart attack.

Keep reading as our Lakeview Hospital experts share tips on heart care at every age. We also invite you to join us at the Northshore Heart Walk on May 11. We are proud to support this event as part of our commitment to health and well-being.

Caring for your heart in your 20s and 30s

Making smart lifestyle choices starting in your 20s is a good move for your heart health. Exercise regularly, eat a diet filled with fruits and vegetables, prioritize getting enough sleep, and don’t smoke or vape.

Young adulthood is also the time to establish a relationship with a primary care provider and begin seeing your provider for regular checkups. Talk with your provider about your family history and how often you should have screenings such as blood pressure checks and lipid panels to test your cholesterol.

Caring for your heart in your 40s and 50s

When it comes to your heart, you want to continue the healthy habits of your 20s and 30s identified above.

As you move into midlife, it is common to add on a few extra pounds, particularly for women as they navigate menopause. Getting plenty of physical activity and watching what you eat can help you maintain a healthy weight.

Continue seeing your primary care provider regularly for age-appropriate screenings. Beginning at age 35, the American Diabetes Association recommends screening for prediabetes and diabetes, risk factors for heart disease. You should also have your blood pressure and cholesterol checked regularly.

If you have conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes, work with your provider to manage them effectively through heart healthy habits and medications.

Caring for your heart in your 60s and beyond

Because the risk of developing heart disease increases as the heart ages, it’s especially important to pay close attention to your heart in this stage of life.

Exercising regularly, even with something as simple as a brisk walk, can be especially beneficial. Find activities you enjoy and stay active to give your heart health a boost.

Depending on your overall health, you may be seeing your primary care provider more often these days. That’s not a bad thing. During these visits, you can have your blood pressure checked and lab work done. You can also talk through any concerning symptoms you may be having.

Older adults are at a higher risk of conditions such as peripheral artery disease, or PAD. If you notice feelings of heaviness in your legs or pain when at rest, it’s important to seek medical attention. A simple ankle brachial index test can quickly determine whether PAD is the cause of your symptoms.

Keep an eye out for symptoms of a heart attack, too, and know what to do if they occur. When a heart attack strikes, minutes matter, so quick action can be lifesaving.

Looking for a cardiologist to take a closer look at your heart health? Schedule an appointment with a member of the Lakeview Hospital cardiovascular team.