Vitamins & Exercise Heart Attack Prevention Series

  • Medical Author:
    Daniel Lee Kulick, MD, FACC, FSCAI

    Dr. Kulick received his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Southern California, School of Medicine. He performed his residency in internal medicine at the Harbor-University of California Los Angeles Medical Center and a fellowship in the section of cardiology at the Los Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical Center. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and Cardiology.

  • Medical Author: Dennis Lee, MD
    Dennis Lee, MD

    Dr. Lee was born in Shanghai, China, and received his college and medical training in the United States. He is fluent in English and three Chinese dialects. He graduated with chemistry departmental honors from Harvey Mudd College. He was appointed president of AOA society at UCLA School of Medicine. He underwent internal medicine residency and gastroenterology fellowship training at Cedars Sinai Medical Center.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

View the Heart Disease Slideshow

Quick GuideHeart Disease: Causes of a Heart Attack

Heart Disease: Causes of a Heart Attack

How about exercise for heart attack prevention?

Studies of the effects of exercise in preventing heart attacks have yielded conflicting results. This is likely due to the fact that people who exercise regularly generally have healthier lifestyles and that many risk factors for heart disease can be influenced by exercise. Therefore, the specific role of exercise itself in heart attack prevention is difficult to isolate. For example, regular exercise has direct effects on weight control, blood pressure, diabetes, blood cholesterol, and smoking.

What about smoking cessation for heart attack prevention?

Smoking cessation, by whatever means, has been clearly demonstrated to reduce future heart attacks and death in patients with known coronary artery disease or who have other risk factors for the development of coronary artery disease. While many methods, both chemical and behavioral, have been used to aid smoking cessation, the initial success rate is often low, and the relapse rate is high. Certain medications that affect neurotransmitters in the brain, which are similar to agents often used to treat depression [for example, bupropion (Wellbutrin, Wellbutrin SR, Wellbutrin XL, Zyban)], have recently been demonstrated to be helpful in many patients trying to stop smoking. While effective, these agents may produce significant side effects and should only be used under the close supervision of a doctor.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/30/2015

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