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Healthier YOU

Protecting Your Heart

Your heart pumps oxygen-rich blood to your blood vessels. It beats almost 100,000 times a day! Having a healthy heart gives you energy, helps your body function properly and can help you live long and strong. 

However, if you have some form of heart disease, our Healthier YOU Healthy Heart Program for Health Partners members can help prevent or lessen complications from your condition.

Here is information about the two most common heart conditions, coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure, and how to lessen the risks of heart disease.

What is coronary artery disease?

If you have coronary artery disease your blood vessels have become full of a substance called plaque. Plaque narrows the blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to the heart. When blood vessels have too much plaque, it causes the heart to work harder to push blood through. This can lead to a heart attack or stroke.

Risk factors for coronary heart disease:

  • Smoking
  • Being overweight
  • Kidney disease
  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • High sodium/salt in your diet
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Family history

How can I protect myself against coronary heart disease?

  • Limit how much salt you eat
  • Eat foods low in saturated fats, cholesterol, and trans fats
  • Eat fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Exercise, as recommended by your doctor
  • Stop smoking
  • Reduce your stress
  • If you have diabetes, keep your blood sugar strictly under control
  • Stay in touch with your Health Partners care manager
  • Keep your doctor appointments
  • Take your medications, as prescribed by your doctor

What is congestive heart failure (CHF)?

If you have congestive heart failure your heart is not pumping enough blood to meet your body’s needs. Congestive heart failure is a lifetime condition that you must do your best to manage.

Risk factors for congestive heart failure:

  • High blood pressure
  • Coronary Artery Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity and high cholesterol
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Severe emphysema
  • Heart valve problems
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Smoking
  • Heart defect at birth
  • Long-term use of anabolic steroids
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Obstructive sleep apnea

How can I manage my congestive heart failure?

  • Keep your doctor appointments
  • Take your medications, as ordered by your doctor
  • Check your weight daily and record it on a calendar. If you gain more than 2-3 pounds in one day or more than 5 pounds in 5 days, contact your doctor
  • Ask your doctor how many ounces of fluid you are allowed to drink per day
  • Limit the amount of salt you eat
  • Look for canned vegetables and soups, and frozen prepared foods that have low sodium on the label
  • Exercise, as recommended by your doctor
  • Avoid wearing tight socks
  • Rest throughout the day and elevate your legs, when possible
  • Manage conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol
  • Keep in contact with your Health Partners care manager

If you have these symptoms, see or call your doctor right away:

  • Swelling in your body, especially your feet
  • Increase in weight of greater than two to three pounds overnight or three to five pounds in a week.
  • Shortness of breath

How can Health Partners help me?

Our Healthier YOU Healthy Heart Program is designed to help you prevent or lessen the complications of heart disease. Our care managers will work closely with you, to address medical concerns, answer questions and provide the support and encouragement you need to manage your condition. Call the Healthier You helpline at 1-866-500-4571 (TTY 711).

For more information

  • Member Relations: 1-855-215-7077 (TTY 711)
  • Nurse Advice: 1-866-825-6717