HOUSTON — Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States.

In our series Wear the Gown with UT Physicians, preventative cardiologist Dr. Patrick Kee has 10 things to keep in mind about your heart health.

  1. Swap out unhealthy saturated and trans fats for healthy alternatives, like canola oil and olive oil.
  2. Nuts are a good source of healthy fats.
  3. Know your numbers: Dr. Kee says patients should know their HDL, LDL and triglyceride levels.
  4. Depression and stress are associated with more incidents of heart conditions and poorer outcomes of treatment.
  5. Studies have shown that laughing can keep the blues away!
  6. Any exercise is good for your heart, but interval training is a good way to improve cardiovascular health.
  7. Go to the dentist! Bacteria in your mouth can travel to your heart, causing infection on the heart valve.
  8. There are no studies that show a clear correlation between red wine and heart health. Dr. Kee says enjoy alcohol in moderation.
  9. Medications for sexual dysfunction can affect other heart medications. Tell your doctor about all the medications you take.
  10. Trimming your midsection can drastically reduce your risk of heart disease.

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