The Rycote Practice

Thame Health Centre
Close this search box.

What can I do to lower my cardiovascular risk?

Essentially reducing your risk can be achieve through making some lifestyle changes or taking some medication, or possibly a combination of the two.

Lifestyle Changes

Improving your diet, stopping smoking, reducing your alcohol intake, reducing your weight and taking more exercise can help reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. You can learn more about making these lifestyle changes at  Better Health – NHS (

People with a high BMI are at greater risk of a range of serious health conditions, including heart disease, stroke and certain cancers. A healthy, balanced diet that is low in salt, sugar and saturated fats and high in fibre, fruit and vegetables can help you reduce your BMI– read more at Lose weight – Better Health – NHS (

Smoking and other tobacco use is also a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease. The harmful substances in tobacco can damage and narrow your blood vessels. Quitting smoking can have a massive benefit to your overall health and reducing your cardiovascular risk – learn more at Quit smoking – Better Health – NHS (

If you don’t exercise regularly, it’s more likely that you’ll have high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels and be overweight. All of these are risk factors for CVD. Exercising regularly will help keep your heart healthy. When combined with a healthy diet, exercise can also help you maintain a healthy weight. Learn more at Get active – Better Health – NHS (

If you drink alcohol, try not to exceed the recommended limit of 14 alcohol units a week for men and women can also help to reduce your cardiovascular risk. Learn more at Drink less – Better Health – NHS (

Looking after your mind is just as important as looking after your body, but it can be easily overlooked. It can also help you to make some of the lifestyle changes listed above more sustainable. Every Mind Matters – NHS ( has lots of expert advice and practical tips to help you stay on top of your mental wellbeing

Taking prescription medicines

If you have a particularly high risk of developing cardiovascular disease due to high blood cholesterol, your GP may recommend taking medicines called statins to reduce your risk. You can read more about the pros and cons of taking this medication here

Cardiovascular disease: risk assessment and reduction, including lipid modification (