Can The Heart Diseases Be Prevented?


Although coronary heart disease is encountered frequently among the society it is preventable. There are something to do in order to preserve your heart health. Even if you are diagnosed as having coronary heart disease or you had infarct by changing your way of life you can stop the promotion of the disease and you can preserve health of your heart. Some risk factors are defined for heart diseases. Now reviewing them let’s see what can we do to improve them:


It is pressure of the blood in your artery. There is need for a certain pressure in your body in order to ensure your blood circulation. The heart by contracting and loosening pomps the blood to the veins. When the heart contracts blood pressure reaches to the highest point and it is called systolic pressure. When the heart loosens the lowest pressure is measured and it is called diastolic pressure. Healthy people should have their normal blood pressure below 140/85 mmHg. If people had heart attacks, infarcts, coronary heart disease or diabetes their blood pressure should be below 130/80mmHg.

What is hypertension (high blood pressure)?

It is having higher blood pressure than recommended. Presency of it increases the risk of heart attack or infarct. It causes the enlargement of the heart and heart failure over the time.

It is difficult to notice hypertension therefore it is beneficial to measure often the blood pressure.

What is the reason for hypertension?

In one out of ten people it can not be detested a reason for the hypertension. However the factors below can develop a hypertension:

  • Not doing enough physical activity
  • Being overweight
  • Taking much salt due to diet
  • Taking much alcohol
  • Not consuming enough raw fruit and vegetables

Also the genetic factors are significant in hypertension. In other words if your mother or father suffer from it then you are under high risk.

What you can do if you have one?

If you have high tension it should be taken under control absolutely. In order to decrease your tension:  

  • Do more physical activities
  • Check your body weight
  • Decrease salt taking
  • Decrease alcohol
  • Consume much more fruits and vegetables

If you have high tension your physician can recommend you drugs which reduce the blood pressure. 


It is available in the blood. Most of it is produced by the body. It is necessary for the cells working but much of it may cause heart problems.

LDL cholesterol and HDL cholesterol

It is carried by some proteins in the body. These components consisting of cholesterol and proteins are called lypoproteins. There are two kinds of cholesterols basicly:

       LDL (low-density lypoprotein) harmful /bad cholesterol. 

       HDL (high-density lypoprotein) preventive/good cholesterol.

Having high cholesterol rate in the blood increases the risk of cardio-vascular diseases. The risk is especially higher when the person has high LDL and low HDL at the same time.


They are a kind of fat available in the blood. They are present at diary products, meat and fats. And also produced at fat stock of the body and liver.

The triglycerides level is high of those who are overweight and eat oily and sweety things or use alcohol.

Those who have high triglycerides rate are more likely to be caught to the cardio-vascular disease.  

What is the reason for the high cholesterol?

One reason for high cholesterol is taking much saturated fat together with diet. Cholesterol in food such as egg, liver, and kidney does not increase the cholesterol level in the blood significantly. Saturated fat like animal fat and butter taken with diet are more distinctive in increase of cholesterol in the blood.

However some people although are nourished with healthy diet their cholesterol is high. They may have familial hyperlipidemia.

How can the cholesterol level be decreased?

In order to lower the cholesterol reduce saturated (meat and butter) and trans fat (margarine) in diet. Instead consume mono unsaturated (olive oil) or multi unsaturated fat (maize, sunflower oil). Total fat intake should be decreased.

Consume fish regularly. There are multi unsaturated omega-3 fat acids in fish oil which lower triglycerides, prevent thrombosing of the blood and regulate the rhytme of the heart.

Consume sedimented food. Chickpea, dried beans, chickpea, lentil and vegetables which are rich for sediment contribute to decrease the cholesterol level.

Doing regular exercise increases the YDL (preventive/good) cholesterol level

Is it necessary to use drug?

Your physician will determine your need for using cholesterol reducing drugs according to total cholesterol, YDL, DDL cholesterol levels and the estimated risk of coronary heart disease. 


Why it is bad to be overweight?

Carrying additional fat in the body effects your health. The hormones swayed from additional fat tissue in the body, changing some methabolic events cause to diabetes or coronary heart disease which threaten life.

Reducing weight

If you are overweight for a long time probably you must have tried several times to change the situation. Some of your trials may have worked but maintaining them may have been difficult. An effective losing weight plan should include regular physical activity and healthy food. It must be avoided from intensive diets which aim to lose weight in a short time.  


Cigarette is among basic risk factors of cardio-vascular diseases. Those who smoke are in twofold danger as for the risk of being caught to coronery heart disease. If you are smoker to quit smoking is unique and the most important step towards preventing the heart attack and living longer. Cigarette is the cause of many cancers and lung diseases.

How the smoking affects your heart?

Cigarette by affecting inner liner of the veins causes aterom plaque in artery. Carbonmonoxide in the smoke of the cigarette reduces the oxygene amount of the blood. Nicotine in cigarette causes rapid beat of the heart and increase in blood pressure. It smoothes the thrombosing of the blood. All of these increase risk of developing coronary heart disease, heart attack or risk of infarct.  

What is passive smoking?

It is breathing the smoke of others who smoke. Researches display that those who live with smokers are at increased risk of heart disease in comparison with those who do not live.

What can you do to quit smoking?  

It is so beneficial for the health to quit smoking therefore it is not late never. Most of the smokers wish to cessate it. For some it may be difficult but many achieved this goal. It is very important to be determined to quit smoking. However there are additional things to increase your chance of success.

  • You can ask your physician what you can do to quit smoking
  • You can apply to quitting smoking cliniques
  • You can use nikotine tapes
  • You can take drugs your physician would recommend.

Practical Suggestions to Quit Smoking

  • Determine a date and obey to this! Throw all your cigarette, tobacco, lighter and ashtrays.
  • Make an action plan. Think about instruments which will aid you quit smoking such as nikotine types.
  • Busy yourself. Find activities which will prevent you from thinking smoking, change your routine, do not drop into shops where you used to buy cigarettes.
  • Take support. Tell your family and friends that you quitted smoking. Their support may help you.
  • Award yourself. If you can do spare the money you used to spend to buy cigarettes, to the other things you like.


It causes to cardio-vascular diseases and some other health problems.

What is diabetes?

When the glucose in the blood raises much diabetes occurs. When we digest the food normally our body produces glucose. Cells use it for producing energy. A hormone called inculine aids glukose entering into cells. Thus glukose level in the blood decreases. When enough insuline can not be produced or did not work diabetes developes. In that case glukose amount in the blood increases abnormaly.    

What are types of diabetes ?

In Type 1 diabetes the body can not produce insuline at all. It developes in childhood or youth.

Type 2 occurs more frequently and developes when enough insuline can not be produced or it does not function properly. It occurs by getting older, after 40s. It is closely related to obesity and lack of physical activity. When it was developed before in the family the risk is much more.   

What kind of relation diabetes have with the heart diseases?

Diabetes increases the risk of cardio-vascular disease. High glukose affecting the walls of the veins facilitates development of atherom plaque. When person has a diabetes he is under high risk of high cholesterol and hypertension. Diabetes at the same time raises the effects of risk factors such as smoking and obesity.  

What can you do?

If you do not have diabetes you can control your weight and by regular physical activity you can avoid it.

If you have the disease it is very important to arrange your blood glucose, cholesterol and blood pressure. Moreover in order to avoid cardio-vascular diseases you should:

  • Do exercise regularly
  • Eat healthy and balanced food
  • Control your weight
  • Quit smoking

If you have been diagnosed to have diabetes your physician may offer you drugs which decrease blood glukose and cholesterol.


What does it mean?

If your father or brother before 55; your mother or sister before 65 encounters infarct, diagnosed with coronary heart disease or died immediately it means that you have cardio-vascular case in your family history.

How does it affect me?

If you have that kind of case you are under high risk of the disease. Some risk factors such as obesity depend on life and nutrition habits among generations. But high cholesterol and hypertension also pass through the genes and cause to cardio-vascular diseases.

What can be do if case is seen in the family history?

It is a risk factor which can not be changed. But in such case the person can benefit from improving the other changable factors such as smoking, high tension, high cholesterol, lack of physical activity, obesity and diabetes.

Prof.Dr. Belgin Ünal

Department of Public Health