Heart Month Draws Attention to Heart Disease - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Heart Month Draws Attention to Heart Disease

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Lifestyle modification goes both ways. You can lengthen your life, or you can shorten it by eating poorly, smoking and not exercising. But doctors say taking some precautionary measures, like modifying that lifestyle, can help tremendously when it comes to preventing heart disease. 

"Smoking is the most modifiable risk factor because you can turn it off totally," says Sanford Cardiologist, Dr. Stephen Korte. "Sugars, cholesterol and blood pressure can be treated."

Heart disease is called coronary atherosclerosis, which basically means the arteries that feed blood to the heart become narrow and hard from plaque build up. 

Alcohol can play a big role in heart disease too. But doctors argue that depending on your genes, a glass here and there won't hurt. 

"Alcohol raises blood pressure directly, alcohol weakens the heart muscle if you have heart failure," says Korte. "But, it also raises your good cholesterol."

You've heard it once, you've heard it a 1,000 times, cut out the smoking, eat a balanced diet and get some exercise. It may sound repetitive, but taking those steps could add a lot of years onto your life, and most important, keep the heart pumped up.
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