Men’s Heart Health

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men in the U.S. Heart disease tends to affect men 10 to 15 years earlier compared to women.

It is important for men to understand and take necessary precautionary measures for their heart health. Being aware of symptoms, having regular checkups and modifying risk factors will lead to a healthier and longer life.

Understanding Symptoms

You must understand any symptoms you have so that you are able to identify what your body is going through.

Heart failure affects 6.2 million adults in the U.S. There are many medical conditions that increase your risk of heart failure like diabetes or obesity.

Symptoms for heart failure include:

  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pains
  • Nausea or dizziness
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Swelling in the ankles, legs and feet

Heart attacks happen when an area of the heart muscle does not get enough blood. Having high blood pressure or high cholesterol can increase your risk of having a heart attack.

Symptoms for a heart attack include:

  • Pain or tightness in the chest
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling lightheaded, faint or weak
  • Cold sweats
  • Heartburn
  • Pain that spreads to your shoulder, arms, back, neck and jaw

It is important to note that even if you do not have the above symptoms, you could still get heart disease.

Maintaining Heart Health

There are many ways you can maintain your heart health and reduce your risk of heart disease. The key to both is living a healthy, balanced lifestyle. With a combination of physical activity and smart dietary habits, you can surely improve your heart health.

Foods to avoid are:

  • Red meat
  • Fried foods
  • Energy drinks and sugary drinks
  • Baked goods and pastries
  • Full-fat dairy products

Other ways to maintain your heart health include:

  • Monitor blood pressure
  • Limit alcohol
  • Lower stress levels
  • Quit smoking

If you are experiencing symptoms or want to learn more about men’s heart health, contact UofL Health – Heart Hospital at 502-587-4000. You can also click here to see all locations where UofL Health provides cardiology services to find a cardiologist near you. If you believe you are experiencing a heart attack, call 911.

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Article by: Mark Slaughter, M.D.

Mark Slaughter, M.D., is a cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon primarily practicing with UofL Physicians – Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery at UofL Health – Heart Hospital. Dr. Slaughter is professor of Surgery and chair of the Department of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery at the University of Louisville and has an adjunct appointment in the Department of Bioengineering. In addition, he serves as the director of the Heart Transplant and Mechanical Assist Device Program at the University of Louisville and UofL Health – Jewish Hospital. Dr. Slaughter currently serves as a consultant to the FDA Medical Device Review Panel, National Science Foundation SBIR/STTR grant reviewer and previously served two terms for the Health and Human Services Medicare Coverage Advisory Committee. Dr. Slaughter has served as the president of the American Society Artificial Internal Organs and president of the International Society of Rotary Blood Pumps. Dr. Slaughter is the editor-in-chief of the American Society of Artificial Internal Organs Journal and also serves as an associate editor for the Annals of Thoracic Surgery.

All posts by Mark Slaughter, M.D.
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