Q: "How do I decrease my chances of having a heart attack?"
A: You can reduce your risk of having a heart attack in several ways. Your diet often plays a key role in managing other conditions that can contribute to a heart attack. Depending on your current health, you may need a diet designed to control diabetes or cholesterol, or a diet for reducing your intake of sugar or salt. Exercise and weight loss can contribute to a healthier heart, too. Preventive care, such as an EKG and possible cardiac stress tests, also can reduce your risk of having a heart attack. You may need medications to protect your heart, such as a full-strength dose of aspirin or a baby aspirin. And some people may be started on a beta blocker, especially if they have already had a previous heart attack.
-- Dr. Helen Furr, family medicine physician, Academic Internal Medicine; member, Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society
Readers: To submit a question for medical doctors, email it to Clint Cooper at firstname.lastname@example.org. See this space each week for answers.
Clint Cooper is the faith editor and a staff writer for the Times Free Press Life section. He also has been an assistant sports editor and Metro staff writer for the newspaper. Prior to the merger between the Chattanooga Free Press and Chattanooga Times in 1999, he was sports news editor for the Chattanooga Free Press, where he was in charge of the day-to-day content of the section and the section’s design. Before becoming sports ...