Health Watch - Heart Month: Early Prevention

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

In February, the month of Valentine’s Day, thoughts turn to matters of the heart. It’s appropriate, then, that February is also American Heart Month, a time to learn about heart disease and what you can do about it. This isn’t just for older people. Young people need to think about their hearts, too.

Arteries start clogging when people are in their 20s, so it’s important to start cholesterol screenings when you’re young so you can take steps to prevent heart disease later in life. Dr. Anand Rohatgi, a cardiologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says you can help lower your cholesterol levels by decreasing the amount of saturated fat you eat and increasing the amount of soluble fiber in your diet. A few little changes you start when you’re young can make a big difference later in life. Healthy people should get a cholesterol test every five years, but you may need to be screened more often if your levels are high.


February 2011

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