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Heart Failure

Heart Failure - How to prevent?

Heart failure is highly preventable and many of its common causes can be avoided with simple lifestyle modifications. Adopt a healthy lifestyle to prevent and control risk factors of coronary artery disease (diabetes mellitus, hypertension, hyperlipidaemia, smoking and obesity), which is the most common cause for heart failure.

Other ways to prevent heart failure include:
  • Maintain a healthy weight: Achieve and maintain a healthy body mass index (BMI) between 18.3 to 22.9 kg/m2. 
  • Keep active: One should minimally complete 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. This could be anything that increases your heart rate such as jogging, swimming, walking or even doing household chores. 
  • Eat a balanced diet: Eating more vegetables, fruits and lean meat is beneficial while saturated fat (such as butter and cheese), salt and sugar should be reduced.

Recommended servings of various types of food (Click to expand)

  • Avoid excessive alcohol intake: Alcohol can cause abnormal heart rhythms and hypertension, both of which are risk factors for heart failure. Excessive consumption of alcohol can also cause significant weight gain.
  • Quit smoking (if you are a smoker): Smoking causes plaque to form on artery walls, clogging them and increasing risks of heart failure. Smoking also increases blood pressure, which causes heart failure. There are smoking cessation aids available to increase your chances of quitting smoking successfully. Speak to your doctor for help with quitting smoking. 
  • Manage your stress levels: Stress can lead to higher blood pressure and unhealthy coping mechanisms such as overeating, smoking and alcohol consumption, all of which increases one’s risk of heart failure. 
  • Go for regular medical check-ups.
  • Keep your cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar levels at healthy levels: Read more on cholesterol management and high blood pressure (hypertension) management.
  • Keep chronic conditions, such as diabetes, in check.

Heart Failure - Preparing for surgery

Heart Failure - Post-surgery care

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