What age should you be aware of prevention of heart disease?

Univision’s chief medical correspondent Dr. Juan Rivera, discusses with ABC News' Dr. Jen Ashton on when is the best time for people to be aware of the risk factors of their heart.
3:50 | 02/25/21

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Transcript for What age should you be aware of prevention of heart disease?
And means with other hopeful medical discoveries on the horizon. It can be easy to take a week and see approach to your heart health especially if you're younger person with no. Clear risk factors but my next guest is here to tell you now is at the moment to begin to lessen your risk of heart disease. The matter what your age or health. Joining me from Miami as my good friend doctor Juan Rivera he's a board certified internist and cardiologist specializing. In the prevention and early detection of cardiovascular disease. One doctor Rivera welcome it's so good to have you with us. Thank you Jenny needs a pleasure to be here with you so let's get right into it one what do Americans need to know rate now about prevention. Cardiovascular. He sees is a silent BC's for many many years. A lot of people do to restart after such S smoking hypertension diabetes high cholesterol obesity. Chronic inflammation are right now developing plaque in their coronary arteries a lot of people the first sign. That there is something going on it's a heart attack or sudden cardiac death. That means that right now to day you have to start thinking about prevention. What are some of the best tools. That someone can use right now to get a better handle on their risk factors what are the good screening tests that you recommend. You need to know your blood pressure your blood sugar your good cholesterol your HDL your bad cholesterol or LDL triglyceride level you need to visit your doctor and the men that. That you get cardiovascular prevention now. B young that one of the tools that I use constantly. With my patients is a heart scan a coronary calcium score. I usually we serve that for people that are out intermediate risk especially. Men above the age of forty and women above the age of fifty but he's very simple Jenn its a CT scan the basically of your heart is gonna show here coronary arteries and we can identify. If you have to lock in your coronary arteries any you do. How much. Now one of the things that I think is phenomenal about your approach is that you. Really focus on prevention. Where is typically hear in western medicine we'd do better with treating disease you're more interested in preventing the disease. So what are some of the things that people can do today. Number one you have to sleep seven. To eight hours every day you want to make sure you do that 101000 steps you wanna be at your ideal body weight you wanna make sure that you're controlling stress not smoking trying to avoid energy drinks for example or at least not abuse them when he comes to cholesterol medications he's my opinion from a cardiovascular prevention doctor that at least in the United States they tend to be over prescribed and how many do you view. A very simple example you and I Jen have the same bad cholesterol let's say it's a 170. But you have a coronary calcium score of zero and I have a coronary calcium score of 300 I've developed moderate black already. We shouldn't be treated the same. Maybe I can convince you to do a plant based diet. And that will be creature cardiovascular risk and LBL so these idea of being individual icing risk. I think it's the main message that I want to I want you guys to take from me to day. One such important and say it's truly light fading information thank you doctor Rivera for. Coming on and sharing that with us and for more information on how to prevent heart disease you can go to the American Heart Association at heart dot work. And finally here's some thoughts to leave US. The strong and beautiful beating heart this is not only a vital physical power has its intrinsic to our compassion and wisdom as human beings. So we wish you well on the road to caring for yours.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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