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TWO IS BETTER THAN ONE
Taking two baby aspirin may protect your heart more than taking one baby aspirin, with only a minuscule increase in the risk of bleeding or other side effects. When you're at high risk for cardiovascular problems, those are good odds!
ATTACK YOUR PLAQUE
Inflammation caused by chronic mouth infection irritates the arteries of the heart, making them more susceptible to plaque buildup. Bacteria from the mouth can also enter the bloodstream and attach to plaque in these arteries. Floss for a healthy heart -- get an attractive smile free!
TURN THAT FROWN UPSIDE DOWN
Depressed patients are three to five times more likely to die in the year after their heart attack than their nondepressed counterparts are. Why? Doctors now believe that patients suffering from depression after a heart attack are less likely to take prescribed medications and to adhere to recommended behavior and lifestyle changes.
MOUTH-TO-MOUTH IS OUT
The big change in CPR: Cardiopulmonary resuscitation using only chest compression is now the method of choice. Need a rhythm to pump to? Think back to Saturday Night Fever and start singing "Stayin' Alive."
TAKE YOUR MEDICATION
If your doctor has you on medication -- such as a statin drug to help lower cholesterol -- be sure to take it on schedule. With medication. adherence is critical to managing cardiac risk. Indeed, suddenly stopping some cardiac medications can have serious consequences.
BE A SUPPLEMENT SKEPTIC
Don't buy fad supplements. Three supplements that stand up to scientific study: calcium, vitamin D and fish oil.
GET A GOOD NIGHT'S SLEEP
People who are sleep-deprived are more likely to be overweight or obese. Sleep benefits the body as well as the brain, influencing everything from hormone levels to your rate of metabolism.
TWO FOR TEA
One of the precursors of heart disease is endothelial dysfunction, a condition in which arteries that support the heart don't dilate properly. Drinking black tea has been proven to contribute to the dilation of blood vessels around the heart, not to mention the lowering of cholesterol levels.
25--DON'T GO THERE!
New research suggests that each unit of body mass index over 25 is associated with a 5% and 7% higher risk of coronary events in women and men, respectively.
LABELS ARE MISLEADING
The government allows manufacturers to say their product has zero (0) trans fats if it has less than half a gram (0.5 g) per serving. A tip: If the ingredients include partially hydrogenated oil, hydrogenated oil or shortening, the product is NOT free of trans fats.
REMEMBER THE "RULE OF 40"
Each 40-point reduction in total cholesterol reduces the risk of a heart attack (initial or recurrent) by half!
Created by Mr. Piscatella and Dr. Barry Franklin, one of the nation's top cardiac rehab specialists, Take a Load Off Your Heart was originally published in 2003 and is now completely revised and updated with the latest research on managing the #1 killer of American men and women. The book is divided into three sections: Cardiac Markers (10 of the most important risk factors are examined so that you can assess your risk and understand what the doctor is telling you); Life Skills (the 109 practical tips, from #3 increase your HDL level to #22 breathe deeply to #99 know your margarines to #109 floss your teeth); and Cardiac Basics (an explanation of contemporary tests and treatments). Throughout is information updated since the first edition, such as the recommended dose of baby aspirin per day, the importance of sleep, a smarter way to read food tables, the PLAC test, and more.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun