Preventing Heart Disease: What You Can Do

The Chronic Disease Prevention Program promotes the prevention, treatment, and management of conditions related to heart disease such as:

Effective prevention can completely avoid or delay disease, as well as manage symptoms for those who have them.

May is high blood pressure education month. Do you know your numbers?

Ask your health care provider to check your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels, and work with them to improve any numbers that are not normal. Cholesterol levels should be checked once every five years. High blood pressure usually has no symptoms, so be sure to have it checked on a regular basis.

Visit the American Heart Association's website to find out what your blood pressure numbers mean.


Besides knowing your numbers, here are other simple steps you can take to reduce your risk for heart disease and conditions associated with it:

  • Aim for a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese increases your risk for heart disease, and many other serious diseases and health conditions.
  • Eat for heart health. The American Heart Association provides excellent resources on Heart-Healthy Eating.
  • Get moving. Make a commitment to be more physically active. Try to get 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity on most days of the week. For more resources and tools on biking, walking, and weight training, visit the Chronic Disease Prevention's Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity Public Resources.
  • Don't smoke. If you do, get the help you need to quit. Smokers who quit start to improve their heart health and reduce their risk immediately. Within one year of quitting, the risk of heart attack drops significantly.1 Even people who have already had a heart attack can cut their risk of having another if they quit. Within five of quitting, smokers lower their risk of stroke to about that of a person who has never smoked. If you need help quitting, call the toll-free Wisconsin Tobacco Quit Line at 877-270-7867.

    1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Smoking and Cardiovascular Disease." 2014. Accessed online.

    Last Revised: September 10, 2019