Heart Health Tips for Older Adults

As a board-certified family physician practicing in the Henderson, Nevada, area, Dr. Kevin Buckwalter treats patients of all ages. Dr. Kevin Buckwalter draws on wide-ranging experience in treating and helping to prevent aging-related diseases.

Statistics show heart disease as the cause of death for 84 percent of individuals aged 65 and older. Heart disease risk increases as a patient ages, but there are actions one can take to reduce one’s risk. For example, high blood pressure and cholesterol levels make a patient more vulnerable to heart disease, so reducing these levels is key to mitigating risk. The same holds for patients with diabetes, whose proactive management of the condition makes them less at risk of heart attacks and other heart problems. Some patients require specialized medical interventions, such as angina treatment, depending on their medical histories.

Regardless of one’s individual medical risk, however, a number of lifestyle changes can make an older adult less likely to develop a heart condition. A diet low in cholesterol and saturated fat, but high in fruit and vegetable content, can improve heart health. Regular physical activity also lowers cholesterol and blood pressure while aiding individuals in maintaining the healthy weight that physicians recommend as critical for avoiding heart disease. Experts also advise patients to avoid smoking and minimize emotional stress, both of which can add to one’s risk of developing a heart condition.