The heart is considered the engine of the human body . It is the organ that is responsible for driving the blood so that it reaches all areas of the body so that it works perfectly. Although, we must follow a series of habits during life to reduce the risk of conditions or diseases that damage cardiovascular health.

In this sense, the specialist Luis Molina Blázquez, from the Cardiology service of the Hospital de Torrejón (Madrid) highlights the importance of the heart for the body and what are the main risk factors for cardiovascular health .

It must be taken into account that the heart is an organ that also ages along with the rest of the body. However, it is in our power to improve the aging process of the heart.

According to Dr. Molina Blázquez «we can do things to slow down wear and tear, and even to keep it very well despite age. Although the opposite can also happen, we can do things in such a way that the heart has an age and shows a greater deterioration than that which would correspond to us due to our age ».

Risk factors for heart health

Of all the risk factors that can increase the risk of damaging cardiovascular health, this expert focuses on tobacco, since he considers that this risk factor depends solely and exclusively on each person.

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On the other hand, diet and nutrition is essential for the health of the heart . In this sense, a healthy and balanced diet helps to preserve the good condition of this organ, as well as to delay its aging.

“Spain is fortunate to have a Mediterranean diet, varied, rich and tasty, and which also protects the heart as shown by studies”, argued the doctor of the Hospital de Torrejón.

Third, another of the most important factors for heart health is regular physical exercise, since it allows you to have an adequate weight and blood pressure and cholesterol levels at optimal levels. In addition, being physically active also helps prevent the development of diabetes.

For all this, this expert in cardiology states that “these three lifestyle habits not only protect the heart, but also do so against the overall deterioration of the body. In addition, as far as possible we must control stress because we know that it is a factor that can trigger heart disease when there is already a basis “.

In addition, from certain ages, it is essential to carry out routine blood tests to observe the levels of cholesterol and glucose in the blood, in order to prevent any type of episode of cardiovascular disease .

How to suspect that something is wrong

Doctor Luis Molina Blázquez points out that «many people come to the consultation scared because a relative of theirs has suffered a heart attack and they want to know if they are at risk of it or not, but they continue to smoke. Tobacco is a huge risk factor, regardless of the amount smoked, and the fact of smoking alone implies a high cardiovascular risk. The fact of quitting smoking changes the prognosis and, in just one year, the risk is reduced very significantly, and this is a factor that depends on us almost exclusively “.

Although, there are certain types of indicators that can alert us that something is wrong with the proper functioning of the heart . A common symptom is usually chest pain when doing physical exercise. In this type of case, it is advisable to go to a medical specialist.

“When you start to notice that you get tired doing things that not too long ago you could do without problems, it is an alarm data and you should go to the family doctor and consider whether you should go to the cardiologist or the pulmonologist, for example” , explains Dr. Molina Blázquez.

Finally, a symptom that can alert you to some type of abnormality that affects the health of the heart is the appearance of edema or swelling in the legs.

Therefore, before symptoms of chest pain, leg swelling or suffocation after exertion, it is advisable to see a medical specialist. It is a key way to prevent any type of serious cardiovascular disease, which can sometimes even cause death.