The best way to prevent cardiogenic shock is to prevent a heart attack from happening. The same lifestyle changes you can use to treat heart disease can help prevent a heart attack. These lifestyle changes include:

  • Control high blood pressure (hypertension). One of the most important things you can do to reduce your heart attack and cardiogenic shock risk is to keep your blood pressure under control. Exercising, managing stress, maintaining a healthy weight, and limiting sodium and alcohol intake are all ways to keep hypertension in check. In addition to recommendations for lifestyle changes, your doctor may prescribe medications to treat hypertension, such as diuretics, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers.
  • Don't smoke. Quitting smoking reduces your risk of having a heart attack. Several years after quitting, a former smoker's risk of stroke is the same as that of a nonsmoker.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight contributes to other risk factors for heart attack and cardiogenic shock, such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Weight loss of as little as 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms) may lower your blood pressure and improve your cholesterol levels.
  • Lower the cholesterol and saturated fat in your diet. Eating less cholesterol and fat, especially saturated fat, may reduce your risk of developing heart disease. If you can't control your cholesterol through dietary changes alone, your doctor may prescribe a cholesterol-lowering medication.
  • Exercise regularly. Exercise reduces your risk of having a heart attack in many ways. Exercise can lower your blood pressure, increase your level of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, and improve the overall health of your blood vessels and heart. It also helps you lose weight, control diabetes and reduce stress. Gradually work up to 30 minutes of activity — such as walking, jogging, swimming or bicycling — on most, if not all, days of the week.

If you have a heart attack, quick action can help prevent cardiogenic shock from occurring. Seek emergency medical help immediately if you think you're having a heart attack.

Oct. 26, 2011

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