According to the National Statistics Office (NSO), heart disease is the number one killer of Filipinos today. "Heart disease is generally a lifestyle sickness," says Dr. Erlyn Demerre at the Cardiology and Echocardiography Department of St. Luke’s Medical Center. People now live more sedentary lives with jobs that afford them little or no physical activity. Such inactivity makes them prone to cardiovascular disease.

Some symptoms of heart disease could be as nonspecific as hyperacidity, flatulence, and abrupt weight gain or as dramatic as a feeling of heaviness in the chest (angina). If you are easily fatigued or unable to go on with normal activity, go to the doctor. The key to a healthy heart is to take good care of it before you even feel any of the symptoms.

Browse through the gallery for things to know and do for a healthy heart.

(First published as “Vital Signs” in the “Better Body” section of Good Housekeeping Philippines’ January-February 2006 issue. Adapted for use in Female Network.)

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