Heart Patient Guide

Prevention and Slowing the Progression of Coronary Artery Disease

CABG is not the permanent cure of your coronary artery disease. It is a palliative procedure and your coronary arteries and grafts may get involved in the disease in future as a result of progression of atherosclerotic process. This progression can not be entirely prevented, but with careful lifestyle and proper drug therapy, the rate of atherosclerotic progression can be slowed down. Thus, after surgery, it is important to follow the suggested guidelines. There are several risk factors which you can modify and thus reduce the risk of recurrence of the problem.

      (i) Smoking :Quit smoking. It not only damages your lungs and causes cancer, it also accelerates the process of atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease. Smoking increases the risk of graft blockade, subsequent myocardial infarction and death.

      (ii) Sedentary life style and lack of exercise:Change your life style. Physical exercises play a great role in your life. Perform regular exercises. For elderly people, brisk walking is the ideal exercise. You can perform light ‘Yoga’ under supervision. Exercise reduces ‘fat levels, in the blood and also increases circulation to heart muscles and other parts of body.

      (iii) Obesity and excess weight :Obesity is one of the most important risk factors for development and progression of atherosclerosis. Thus weight reduction is an important aspect in long term care. Regular exercise and careful diet are two most important means of reducing the weight.

      (iv) Diet :Diet rich in fats and carbohydrates may contribute to obesity, high fat levels in blood and thus to development of coronary artery disease. Consume low calorie, fat free diet which is rich in minerals, vitamins, proteins and antioxidants. Antioxidants are substances which reduce progression of atherosclerosis. Fresh fruits, green vegetables and sprouted seeds are important sources of antioxidants.

You are advised to use a cooking medium that contains Rice bran oil (Sundrop Heart). You may avoid salt if you have high blood pressure and sweets if you have diabetes.

      (v) High fat levels in bloodIncreased level of cholesterol predisposes to development of atherosclerosis. A balanced diet and regular physical exercise are required to keep cholesterol level under control. However, sometimes drugs are also required to keep the cholesterol level in check.

      (vi) Diabetes mellitus :Diabetics is an important predisposing factor in development of coronary artery disease. Thus, proper management of diabetes is essential. Regular physical exercise and dietary regulation help in great way to control the diabetes. Follow your doctor’s advice for diabetes control and maintain regular check-up.

      (vii) Hypertension :Proper control of hypertension is essential to retard the progression of coronary artery disease. Decreased intake of salt, weight reduction and avoidance of stressful life also helps in control of high blood pressure. Regular and closely monitored drug therapy is essential for the management of hypertension.

      (viii) Stress :Stress is an important risk factor. Change your life style. Stress reducing exercises and meditation help in reducing the stress.

Thus to sum up:

      (i) Quit smoking

      (ii) Do regular physical exercise

      (iii) Reduce your weight, if you are obese

      (iv) Avoid fatty, high calorie food. Eat fresh vegetables and fruits.

      (v) Avoid stress

      (vi) Control your diabetes and hypertension vigorously