Heart disease describes a variety of disorders and conditions that affect the heart. It is the leading cause of death for both women and men in the United States, but it can be prevented.

How to Prevent Heart Disease

You can reduce your risk for heart disease through lifestyle choices and taking the steps below:

  • Manage your cholesterol and blood pressure levels
  • Get tested and manage your diabetes
  • Exercise regularly
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Avoid smoking 
  • Drink responsibly
  • Keep stress under control

Although heart disease is preventable through modifying lifestyle factors above, some risk factors are beyond your control, like your:

  • Age: Your risk increases the older you get.
  • Family history: If you have a male relative with heart disease before the age of 55, or a female relative with heart disease before the age of 65, you may have an increased risk. The more knowledge you have about your family’s medical history, the better.
  • Ethnicity: African Americans, Mexican Americans, American Indians, native Hawaiians and South Asian Americans have an increased risk of heart disease.

But you can significantly lower your risk of heart disease by managing or reducing the risk factors you can control through healthy lifestyle changes. Ohio State’s Heart and Vascular Center is committed to improving your health by helping you take steps to prevent heart disease before problems arise.

Learn more about how Ohio State is leading the way in heart & vascular treatment, and helping patients survive. 

What is Heart Disease?

Tom Ryan, MD, Director of Ohio State’s Heart and Vascular Center, explains what heart disease is, what the common signs and symptoms are of heart disease and when to seek care with a physician.

Preventing Heart Disease

There are several things that can help prevent heart disease or keep a cardiovascular condition from worsening.

How can you prevent heart disease?

Thomas Ryan, MD, the director of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center's Heart and Vascular Center, explains the key lifestyle factors that are important in the prevention of heart disease.

Should I Take a Daily Dose of Aspirin

Taking daily aspirin is beneficial for patients who have been diagnosed with a blockage in their artery. However, it is not recommended for healthy individuals with no blockage, as the potential side effects outweigh the benefits, says Talal Attar, MD, FACC, an interventional cardiologist at Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center.

Share this Page

We'll use your email to contact you about this request. View Terms of Use.
Email me tips for healthy living and other helpful information from The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
I'd also like to request an appointment to see a heart specialist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Please call me.

Our Leaders

Our leaders

laxmi mehta

Laxmi Mehta, MD

Clinical Director, Women's Cardiovascular Health Program

Dr. Mehta is section director of Preventative Cardiology and the Women's Cardiovascular Health Program and a professor of clinical medicine at Ohio State. Dr. Mehta holds the Sarah Ross Soter Endowed Chair in Women's Cardiovascular Health. She previously served as the president of the Ohio Chapter of the American College of Cardiology and serves on several national committees. She has published peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. Dr. Mehta also specializes in lipids/cholesterol and echocardiography. 



John Larry, MD

Medical Director, Cardiology and Cardiac Rehabilitation, East Hospital

Dr. Larry is an associate professor of clinical medicine at Ohio State. Dr. Larry has published numerous abstracts and peer-reviewed journal articles. He is a member of multiple professional societies, including the American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association and the American Society for Echocardiography. Dr. Larry was named one of America’s Best Doctors in 2009. He was also honored in Madison’s Who’s Who in Health Care Professionals in 2009. Dr. Larry’s clinical interests include prevention of cardiac disease, cardiac rehabilitation and echocardiography.