Heart smart by age

Heart smart by
age
Dr Harinder Singh
Bedi

No matter how old (or young) you are, the only way to stay on top of
your game is to know your risk factors and take the right steps to avoid
problems down the road. Here is everything you need to know to guarantee your
ticker stays stronger longer.

In Your 20s

There is a common problem among men in their twenties: they don’t know
they’re vulnerable Your twenties are the prefect time to establish heart-healthy
diet and exercise habits that’ll extend your expiration date and keep those
extra years healthy and worth living too . That means 30 minutes of aerobic
exercise five times a week and maintaining a normal blood pressure, healthy
weight and lipid profile.

Your 20s Checklist:

l 30 minutes of aerobic exercise five
times a week. Useful hint : bhangra is the best heart healthy aerobic exercise

lAnnual physicals

lEKG

lEchocardiogram if indicated

lBlood pressure: 119/ 79 mm Hg or lower

l Lipid profile: Triglycerides less than
150 mg/dL , LDL between 70 – 100 mg/dL and HDL greater than 40 mg/dL

lFasting blood sugar between 70-100 mg/dl

l Have a hobby / sport which interests you
– this is important for overall health and a good rounding of personality

l Learn yoga – this is one stress buster
which you can continue doing for the rest of your life

In Your 30s

Although most heart conditions are strongly hereditary, they may not manifest
till the 30’s. So along with your standard health check, schedule another
echocardiogram 10 years after the first one (if the first was normal)
-especially if you’re regularly weight lifting, wrestling, playing football,
cricket or participating in any sport with short bursts of activity or have a
profession which entails stress (actually which one doesn’t ? !!). Men older
than 35 should also have an electrocardiogram (EKG), which traces the electrical
waves of the heart every five years.

Your 30s Checklist

l30 minutes of exercise five times a week

lAnnual physicals

lEchocardiogram, 10 years after the first

lBlood pressure: 119/79 mm Hg or lower

l Lipid profile and blood sugar : as
before

It has been seen that happily married couples have a lower incidence of heart
disease – so make sure that you get along well with your spouse! This is also
the time that you should pass on healthy lifestyle habits to your children.

In Your 40s

When you hit 40, your doctor should additionally start monitoring the overall
degree of inflammation within your body with C-reactive protein (CRP) testing.
The higher your CRP level, the higher your risk of cardiovascular disease. But
there’s no need to make an extra appointment for this one-just an additional
tick on the same lab form as the blood test that checks your cholesterol levels
measures CRP levels. The best way to keep CRP levels in check? Regular exercise.

Your 40s Checklist:

l30 minutes of exercise five times a week

lAnnual physicals

l Echocardiogram, 10 years after your last
one

lEKG, 5 years after your last one

l Cholesterol: LDL less than 160 mg/dL and
HDL greater than 40 mg/dL

lBlood pressure: 119/79 mm Hg or lower

l Lipid profile and blood sugar : as
before

l C-reactive protein: Less than 1 mg per
liter

In Your 50s

Fifty is the typical age men develop coronary heart disease. An exercise
stress test — sometimes called a treadmill test, monitors how well your heart
handles work. If this test is positive or if you have symptoms (chest pain) your
doctor may decide on getting an angiogram done.

Your 50s Checklist:

l 30 minutes of exercise five times a week
: less strenuous than before, less of high impact

lAnnual physicals

l Echocardiogram, 10 years after your last
one

lEKG, 5 years after your last one

l Exercise stress test (tread mill test or
TMT)

l Lipid profile and blood sugar : as
before

l C-reactive protein: Less than 1 mg per
liter

l A nuclear perfusion scan and a CT
angiogram in carefully selected cases

Post-retirement

One is still quite young at age 60 years. Physical and mental activity must
continue – though at a slightly more dignified pace – although there are quite a
few ‘elderly’ people I know (including my father ) whose level of enthusiasm and
activity beats most ‘younger’ people like me! Make sure you have some form of
exercise – just a brisk walk for 20 minutes – has heart healthy advantages.

At Any Age

If you experience chest pain or shortness of breath, get to the hospital
right away. These are the two primary symptoms of heart disease and should never
go unchecked. A good percentage of heart attacks can be prevented and the
morbidity and mortality associated with this disease can be greatly reduced by
lifestyle changes, control of the risk factors and surgery where indicated.

The writer is Head, Cardio-Vascular Endovascular & Thoracic Surgery, at
the Christian Medical College & Hospital, Ludhiana

Link Here :

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2011/20110930/edit.htm#7

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