Maintaining Good Vascular Health
Five Most Important Things Baby Boomers can do to Maintain Good Vascular Health
Baby Boomers need to understand how to maintain a healthy vascular system as they become seniors. By 2015, the U.S. Census reports an expected 87 million people aged 55 and older, up from 67 million in 2005. Since vascular disease primarily affects seniors, the number of vascular disease cases is expected to rise dramatically.
The vascular system is made up of arteries and veins that carry oxygen-rich blood throughout the body to the vital organs, the brains, and the legs. As we age, our arteries tend to thicken with a buildup of plaque and cholesterol, get stiffer, and narrow. When blood flow is restricted, vascular disease like carotid artery disease can lead to stroke; peripheral artery disease can lead to problems walking and in the most advanced cases, foot ulcers, gangrene, and possible amputation; and abdominal aortic aneuryism can result in death if not treated early.
These five practices are not new, but with so many people reaching senior status, it is important to remember the positive impact they can have on their vascular health:
- Stop smoking
- Eat a healthy, low fat diet
- Maintain good cholesterol levels
- Take care of their blood pressure to keep it in a normal range
- Exercise regularly- even a moderate walking program can be effective
People aged 55 and older should talk with their primary care physician about their vascular health. Painless, noninvasive tests can determine if there are blockages in a patient's neck or leg arteries or if there is aneurysm formation in the aorta. If there is an indication of blockage, patients should seek treatment imediately. Vascular disease can be controlled if diagnosed and treated early. Vascular surgeons treat these diseases with lifestyle changes, medical management, minimally invasive endovascular angioplasty and stent procedures, and open bypass surgery.
To learn more about vascular health and vascular disease, visit www.VascularWeb.org, or call 877-282-2010 for free brochures.
Republished with permission by the Society for Vascular Surgery. Vascular surgeons provide expert care for circulatory disease. They are the only physicians who are skilled in all vascular treatments including medical management, noninvasive procedures, as well as surgery for advanced cases. Learn more about vascular conditions and treatments and find a vascular surgeon at VascularWeb.