• By Laurel J. Kelly

Housecall: 7 strategies to prevent heart disease

February 18, 2019

a red heart-shaped puzzle and a stethoscope on a rough wooden surfaceTHIS WEEK'S TOP STORIES
Preventing heart disease: Do you have all the pieces in place? 
Almost half of U.S. adults have cardiovascular disease, according to the American Heart Association. And it's the leading cause of death in the U.S. But that doesn't mean you have to accept it as your fate. Although you cannot change some risk factors, such as family history, sex or age, there are some key heart disease prevention steps you can take to reduce your risk. You can avoid heart problems in the future by adopting a healthy lifestyle today. Here are seven heart disease prevention tips to get you started.

Laughter is powerful medicine 
A good sense of humor can't cure all ailments, but data is mounting about the positive effects of laughter. From relieving stress to boosting your immune system and easing pain, laughter is powerful medicine. Learn more about the benefits of laughter and how to fire up your sense of humor.

EXPERT ANSWERS
Is hand swelling during exercise a concern? 
Hand swelling during exercise is a fairly common problem. The cause isn't completely clear, but hand swelling appears to be a result of the way your body and blood vessels respond to the increased energy demands of your muscles during exercise. While there's no proven way to prevent or reduce most exercise-related hand swelling, there are some steps you can take to ease the discomfort. Learn more from Dr. Edward Laskowski, a Mayo Clinic physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist and co-director of the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center. 

Is phentermine a good option for weight loss?
Phentermine is an amphetaminelike prescription medication that suppresses appetite. It can help weight loss by decreasing your hunger or making you feel full longer. Although phentermine is one of the most commonly prescribed weight-loss medications, it isn't a good option if you have certain conditions, including heart disease and high blood pressure. Learn more from Dr. Meera Shah, a Mayo Clinic endocrinologist.

PLUS ADDITIONAL HIGHLIGHTS
Robotic surgery
Laser resurfacing
Muscle strains
Mayo Clinic Minute: What is hearing loss?

HEALTHY RECIPES
Overnight refrigerator oatmeal
Roasted winter squash with wild rice and cranberries
White bean escarole soup
Baked apples with cherries and almonds

HEALTH TIP OF THE WEEK
5 foods to lower your cholesterol
A few tweaks to your diet may be enough to lower your cholesterol to a healthy level and help you stay off medications. Consider adding these cholesterol-lowering foods to your diet:

  1. Oatmeal and oat bran
  2. Walnuts, almonds and other nuts
  3. Fish, especially mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna and salmon
  4. Olive oil
  5. Foods fortified with plant sterols or stanols, such as margarines, orange juice and yogurt drinks

Need practical advice on diet and exercise? Want creative solutions for stress and other lifestyle issues? Discover more healthy lifestyle topics at mayoclinic.org.

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