Risk factors management should consists of the following:
- Quit smoking. Smoking damages the health of your arteries and there is help available to help quit smoking. Please discuss it with your GP. Most people takes several attempts at quiting smoking before they are successful. Stopping smoking is important to prevent further progression of arterial disease and also help with maintaining long term success after vascular surgery intervention.
- Optimal diabetes control if suffering from diabetes– HbA1C is a marker of longer term diabetes control. Aim for HbA1C of ≤ 7%. For each 1 per cent reduction in HbA1C, there is a relative risk reduction of 21 per cent for any diabetes-related complications, 21 per cent for diabetes-related deaths, 14 per cent for heart attack and 37 per cent for kidney, nerve, and eyes damage.
- Regular exercise– The National Heart Foundation of Australia recommends that people with cardiovascular disease should aim to do 30 minutes or more of moderate-intensity physical exercise on most days of the week. The amount of activity can be accumulated in short bouts; such as three 10-minute sessions each day. People suffering from claudication should gradually increase their exercise intensity over time to obtain maximum benefit.
- Lipid profile target –total cholesterol <4mmol/L, HDL >1mmol/L, LDL< 2mmol/L, Triglycerides <2.0mmol/L ·
- Take regular aspirin or clopidogrel and anticholesterol medication (statin). Both these medications help prevent stroke and heart attack and should be continued on a long term basis if no significant side effect is experienced. Statin lowers cholesterol and in addition also stabilizes unstable artherosclerotic plaque, preventing plaque causing complications.
- Blood pressure control– aim 130/80 mmHg in patients with diabetes and 140/90 mmHg in patients without.
- Maintaining a healthy weight and diet– Ideal weight should be BMI <25 kg/m2 and waist circumference <94 cm in men (<90 cm in Asian men) or <80 cm in women (including Asian women). Consume a varied diet rich in vegetables, fruits, wholegrain cereals, lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds, legumes and beans, and low-fat dairy products. Avoid high salt intake and limit alcohol intake to ≤2 standard drinks per day.