WELCOME to the ATRIAL SEPTAL DEFECT COMMUNITY: This Patient-To-Patient Community is for discussions relating to Atrial Septal Defect (ASD) which is a hole in the part of the septum that separates the atria (the upper chambers of the heart). This hole allows oxygen-rich blood from the left atrium to flow into the right atrium instead of flowing into the left ventricle as it should. This means that oxygen-rich blood gets pumped back to the lungs, where it has just been, instead of going to the body.
Lowering your risk factors for coronary artery disease (CAD) can help you prevent a heart attack. (See "Who Is At Risk for a Heart Attack?") Even if you already have CAD, you can still take steps to lower your risk of heart attack.
Reducing the risk of heart attack usually means making healthy lifestyle choices. You also may need treatment for medical conditions that raise your risk.
Healthy lifestyle choices to help prevent heart attack include:
In addition to making lifestyle changes, you can help prevent heart attacks by treating conditions you have that make a heart attack more likely:
Make sure that you have an emergency action plan in case you or someone else in your family has a heart attack. This is especially important if you're at high risk or have already had a heart attack.
Talk with your doctor about the signs and symptoms of heart attack, when you should call 9–1–1, and steps you can take while waiting for medical help to arrive.
Author/Source: National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute, Division of the National Institute of Health [NIH]
Retrieved: June 2008