Common myths about cardiovascular disease

MYTH: I don’t need to worry about developing cardiovascular disease because
I follow a healthy diet and I am physically active.

Even if you exercise and eat right, you could still be at risk for developing
cardiovascular disease. Although being physically active and following a well-balanced
diet are important, you may have other risk factors that increase your overall
risk for cardiovascular disease. These could include smoking, alcohol drinking,
diabetes, and even mild-to-moderately elevated blood pressure and cholesterol.

MYTH: Cardiovascular disease already runs in my family so there really
is nothing I can do to prevent it from developing.

While it is true that you cannot control genetics, you may have other risk
factors that can be controlled. These might include diabetes, extra weight,
cholesterol, elevated blood pressure levels, and smoking. By managing these
risk factors, you can help lower your overall risk of developing cardiovascular
disease. Also, most heart attacks and strokes are preventable if treatment is
focused on all risk factors.

MYTH: Lifestyle changes, such s exercise, a proper diet and stopping
smoking, are enough to lower the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
I don’t need medicine.

Only your doctor can say whether or not you need medicine to help lower your
risk of developing cardiovascular disease. While eating right and exercising
are important, these lifestyle changes alone may not be enough to help manage
cardiovascular disease risk factors. That is why you should talk to your doctor
to make sure you are doing everything possible to prevent developing cardiovascular

MYTH: When I reach my cholesterol and blood pressure goals, I no longer
need to worry about developing cardiovascular disease and can even stop taking

Unfortunately, high cholesterol and blood pressure cannot be cured – they can
only be controlled through lifestyle changes and, for some many, drug treatment.
So, when you have reached the treatment targets for cholesterol, blood pressure,
and other cardiovascular disease risk factors, you must continue to eat right,
get regular exercise, and take your medication as directed by your doctor.