Prevention of Enlarged Heart
Since prevention as it relates to left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) is in preventing the conditions which cause it or reducing the risk of those conditions, management and treatment of hypertension and/or valvular disease is the best way to prevent LVH. Another aspect of prevention is in preventing the complications of LVH–heart failure and arrhythmias. With management and treatment of its causes, LVH can actually regress.
Regression of LVH is the best way to prevent serious cardiac events, and regression is via treating LVH’s causes, above:
- Hypertension risk is increased with obesity, the metabolic syndrome, hyperglycemia, smoking, stress, age, and genetics. Age and genetics are not possible to change, but how they mix with the other risk factors is.
- Weight management, caloric restriction, strict control of blood sugar, exercise, refusal to abuse drugs that increase blood pressure (cocaine, methamphetamines), medication exchange away from those with hypertension as a side effect, stress management, a good circadian rhythm (normal sleep/wake cycles), all reduce the risks of hypertension.
- Valve disease is best prevented by addressing the problems that cause it, such as treating rheumatic fever in a timely fashion with antibiotics, possibly continuing antibiotics indefinitely for those with recurrences, avoidance of intravenous drug abuse, antibiotic prophylaxis for procedures that might risk seeding of the blood stream with bacteria that could colonize on the valves, and treatment of hypertension all help to prevent valvular disease.