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Angina Pectoris (cont.)

Can angina be prevented?

The best action is to reduce risk factors early in life. The goal is to not have angina, a heart attack, or sudden death in the first place. Although no one can escape aging, inherited risk, or gender, certain risk factors are in your control.

  • Stop smoking and using nicotine in any form.
  • Control high blood pressure.
  • Lower blood fats (through diet, exercise, and medications).
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Control diabetes and blood sugar
  • Do not use stimulants such as cocaine or amphetamines.

If a person already has atherosclerosis and angina, they can learn to take precautions to avoid having symptoms. Avoiding the "triggers" will help keep the person comfortable and free of symptoms.

  • Quit smoking
  • Do not use caffeine, cocaine, amphetamines, or other stimulants
  • Drink alcohol moderately (no more than 1-2 drinks daily)
  • Avoid large and heavy meals that leave you feeling "stuffed"
  • Decrease stress
  • Establish a regular exercise routine (discuss the plan with your health-care professional)

The question of exercise for a person with angina is important. Exercise is recommended.

  • If the person has been exercising strenuously, they may need to cut back to avoid symptoms.
  • If the person has not been exercising, or has been exercising moderately, talk to a health-care professional first about physical activity that will be safe and comfortable. Sometimes a structured cardiac rehabilitation program is a beneficial way to begin an exercise program.

The doctor may recommend taking an aspirin daily.

  • Aspirin has been shown to reduce the risk of a second heart attack in people who have already had one, and may reduce the risk of a first heart attack.
  • Taking aspirin is not without risks, especially in elderly people, people with digestive diseases or blood clotting disorders, and people who take certain types of medications.
  • Allergy to aspirin is not uncommon. Tell your health-care professional if you are allergic to aspirin or have a reaction to aspirin.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/31/2016

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