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Tips To Prevent Heart Failure

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More Videos from EmpowHER 30 videos in this series

Dr. Starling shares simple tips to incorporate into your life to prevent heart failure. Dr. Mark Starling studied medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine and now practices at Banner Heart Hospital in Mesa, Arizona.

Dr. Starling:
If I had to give women tips of how they could prevent heart failure I believe it would be to go back to what we talked about a little earlier about managing risk and understanding what your risk factors are for developing structural heart disease.

Number one for women is clearly high blood pressure – clearly. It provides a very high incidence rate, if you will, over time of developing structural heart disease and therefore the symptoms of heart failure.

The second is really diabetes is the other big risk and I think the final risk is really that we have become a much more sedentary society. That we need to recognize that we need to remain active because active lifestyles, which are pretty simple, it doesn’t have to be complex, it doesn’t have to be going to the gym and pounding weights all day long, it’s just walking routinely for 30 minutes during the day can help prevent diabetes and it can help prevent high blood pressure or at least understand and keep you in better condition and in the long haul that means your overall livelihood will be substantially improved.

So, know if you have high blood pressure or not, know if you have diabetes, and then remain active to help control those risk factors and help prevent long-term consequences.

Let me give an example of a patient and what they did and what happened, actually. This was a woman in her mid 50s. Her blood pressure was a little high. She was a little overweight and had a diabetic tendency. She really didn’t meet criteria to be a diabetic and was not on any diabetic medications. She came to me with those risk factors. She did not have any symptoms. She had minor structural changes very early so it really was not substantive enough that would have led to heart failure.

And we put her on a program which was really pretty simple. I restricted her sodium intake and she began becoming much more active and what I meant by that is that she decided she was going to walk on a treadmill for 20 minutes-a-day. So she’d go walk a stand, just a regular walk, not fast but just the regular walk for 20 minutes every day, and over the ensuing few months her weight declined, her diabetic tendency disappeared, her blood pressure came under control, no medication required.

So it shows that you have, every woman really has the capacity to manage their own risk factors and actually do it pretty easily and fairly successfully and that would be my encouragement is that take control, understand your risks, and take some actions where you can actually mitigate those risks and be successful at it.

About Dr. Mark Starling, M.D.:
Dr. Mark Starling graduated from the University of Washington, B.A. Degrees, cum laude, History and Literature. After a studying French Language and Literature at the University of Paris in France, Starling returned to Washington to study medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine. He graduated in 1974 with honors. Over the years, Dr. Starling has been that Associate Professor of Medicine in the Departments of Internal Medicine and Cardiology Division at both the University of Texas and the University of Michigan.

Conditions: Heart Failure, Heart Disease, High Blood Pressure,

Related Terms: Shortness of Breath, Ejection Fraction, Edema, Exercise Intolerance, Fatigue, Echocardiogram, Electrocardiogram, Weak Heart Muscle

Expert: Dr. Mark Starling, Dr. Mark Starling, M.D., Doctor Starling, Chief Medical Officer Mark Starling, Women's Heart Health Specialist Cardiologist Dr. Mark Starling

Expertise: Peripheral Artery Disease, Heart Disease Risks, Heart Disease Management, Cardiac Metabolic Syndrome, Heart Disease Prevention, Blood Pressure Testing, Cholesterol Testing, Robotic Catheter Ablation, Coronary Artery Disease, Heart Failure Warning Signs, Heart Failure Prevention

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