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Will regular exercise prevent heart disease?

Q: I am a 23 years old male with a family history of heart disease. My father has coronary heart disease and had balloon angioplasty, my grandmother and father’s brother both died due to heart disease. I am just 23 years old but recently when I checked, my cholesterol levels came out to be quite elevated. Should I take any medicines for high cholesterol levels? I have heard that exercising protects one from heart disease. What precautions should I take? Should I take medicines and exercise regularly to avoid heart disease? Nowadays I am developing a small pot belly also.

A:The patient is a young person and has a family history of Coronary Artery Disease. In view of the family history he should certainly adopt healthy lifestyle measures like regular physical activities (walk for at least 30 minutes daily) and take a healthy diet i.e. to avoid sweets, fast food, and food with high fat content. He should try to keep his weight in check. Regarding medicines for the high cholesterol, I think we need to know his blood level reports to suggest any drug treatment.

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