Preventing Heart Disease with a Healthy Lifestyle

Whether its coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, cardiac arrest, or congestive heart failure, doctors say for many patients all forms of heart disease can be prevented.

“We do about 1,100 open heart procedures here annually. We are seeing them every day,” said Dr. Brian Hummel, a cardiothoracic surgeon with Lee Health.

Nearly 600 of those procedures performed at Lee Health every year are coronary bypass surgeries. “Of those patients, a significant percentage could have perhaps avoided or delayed for a significant amount of time had they done something lifestyle wise,” said Dr. Hummel.

That means adding at least 20 minutes of physical activity to your daily routine and taking out foods that are high in sodium, sugar and fat. “Eating right can certainly help to avoid cardiac problems and cardiac disease down the road,” said Dr. Hummel.

Keeping up with your annual doctor appointments and monitoring your weight and lab work, can also help patients address any changes to their heart health. “Watch your cholesterol and triglycerides, the fatty foods, red meats and that sort of thing. There is a lot of evidence that a plant-based diet really does lower the risk of heart disease,” said Dr. Hummel.

The number one thing doctors recommend to prevent heart disease: is to stop smoking. “Still people continue to smoke, and it is the number one problem in terms of people developing heart disease,” said Dr. Hummel.

Lee Health was recently chosen as one of the top 50 cardiovascular programs in the nation. Doctors say improving your lifestyle can benefit your heart health and keep you out of the hospital.

View More Health Matters video segments at LeeHealth.org/Healthmatters/

Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health – Caring People. Inspiring Care.

Visit LeeHealth.org

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