Blood clots forming in your legs (deep vein thrombosis) or lungs (pulmonary embolism) can cause you serious pain and discomfort. If a clot forms, it can travel through your veins to your lungs, blocking blood supply to your lungs and disabling their ability to send oxygen throughout your body. You may experience trouble with your breathing, permanent damage to your legs and, in rare cases, it can even result in death.
Recent research presented at the American Heart Association’s Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology 2013 Scientific Sessions has found that, by incorporating seven lifestyle choices into your health regime, you can lower your risk of developing these potentially life-threatening blood clots.
The research followed a long-term study conducted over four and a half years involving 30,239 adults aged over 45. Participants’ heart health was rated using seven indicators; being physically active, following a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy body mass index (BMI), not smoking, controlling blood sugar levels and blood pressure, as well as a healthy cholesterol level. Researchers compared the occurrence of blood clots between participants with heart health ratings of inadequate, average and optimum.
The results showed that those with the best heart health had a 44 per cent lower risk of blood clots than those participants with poor heart health.
By incorporating the following seven healthy lifestyle choices you lower not only the risk of developing life-threatening blood clots, but also your risk of cancers and other lifestyle-related diseases.
- Being physically active – try to get at least 30 minutes exercise on most days.
- Following a healthy diet – aim to include two serves of fruit and five serves of vegetables every day.
- Maintaining a healthy body mass – BMI is a measure of your body weight in relation to your height. To work out your BMI, you need to know your weight (in kilograms) and your height (in metres). A useful site to calculate your BMI is www.heartfoundation.org
- If you are a smoker, now is the time to give up.
- Control blood sugar levels – by maintaining a trim waistline. You could be at risk of developing diabetes if your waist measures more than 94 centimetres for men and 80 centimetres for women.
- Control your blood pressure – have your blood pressure monitored by your doctor at least once a year.
- Maintain a healthy cholesterol level –if you are not sure whether your cholesterol is at a healthy level, book a test with your doctor – it takes less than five minutes.
To find out more read Seven simple lifestyle steps may decrease risk of blood clots on the ScienceDaily website.