Heart Disease Information for Older Adults

Understanding Heart Disease is the Best First Step

In this heart disease information article, you’ll learn about:

Did you know…

1 in 6 Canadian older adults 65+ are diagnosed with chronic heart disease?

See your doctor immediately about heart disease if you experience any of these symptoms:

  • Suddenly feel anxious
  • Are easily tired
  • Rapidly become pale
  • Feel dizzy or weak
  • Area constantly short of breath
  • Cough or wheeze when laying down
  • Experience heart palpitation

Risks that Affect Heart Disease

4 things to be aware of that affect your heart, but that you can’t change:

  1. Family History
    Namely, your genetic makeup and family history can be an indicator your doctor will ask about.
  2. Age
    Just like the rest of your body, your heart will sustain wear and tear as you age.
  3. Gender
    Specifically, men over 45 and women who are over 55 or postmenopausal are at a greater risk.
  4. Ethnicity
    Above all, certain ethnicities such as First Nations, African, and South Asian are at an increased risk.

8 things you can change, treat, or adjust for a healthier heart:

  1. Bad Diet
    For instance, diets high in fat and cholesterol increase the risk of fatty buildup in the arteries.
  2. Inactivity
    People who are not active had double the risk of heart disease, and more risk of diabetes.
  3. Obesity
    Obesity increases your blood pressure, causing your heart to work too hard on less oxygen.
  4. Smoking
    Smoking reduces the blood’s oxygen level, injures artery walls, and raises your heart rate.
  5. Alcohol Consumption
    Because, excessive alcohol consumption can dangerously increase your blood pressure.
  6. Drug Use
    Consequently, the risk of having a stroke is six times higher in drug users than non-drug users.
  7. Stress
    Stress increases your heart rate and blood pressure, and, as a result, damages your arteries and heart.
  8. Hormones (HRT)
    For example, estrogen, usually prescribed for symptoms of menopause, increases your risk of stroke.

Prevention is Key

4 Lifestyle changes you can make to help prevent heart disease:

  1. Eat Healthy
    Eat lots of veggies, cook at home, and limit processed foods.
  2. Stay Active
    Move! For example, walk or play a sport. Find ways to be active in your daily life.
  3. Reduce Stress
    Know your stressors. In other words, get expert strategies to manage them effectively.
  4. Cut Bad Habits
    Of course, there are resources to help you quit harmful habits such as smoking.

Above all, ask your doctor about your heart health. Here are questions to ask your doctor about your risk of heart disease:

  1. Do I need to lose or gain weight for my health?
  2. Can you recommend a diet and exercise for me to lower my risk?
  3. To monitor my risk factors, what tests should I take and how often?
  4. What are the possible heart-related side effects of the medications I am currently taking?
  5. What are my risk factors based on my health and my family history
  6. How do the warning signs and symptoms for heart disease differ between men and woman?

Heart and Stroke Foundation
Statistics Canada

Ohana Care

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