You can reduce your risk of subclavian artery disease caused by atherosclerosis by keeping your blood vessels healthy. It is important to pay attention to the factors that contribute to the disease. Modifiable risk factors—in other words the risk factors that can be controlled—to prevent subclavian artery disease include:
- Tobacco use: If you smoke tobacco, please consult with your health care provider about ways to quit. Use of any tobacco product increases your blood pressure and promotes the formation of plaques within the blood vessels. There are many aids, and even apps, now available to help you quit.
- Sedentary lifestyle: Be active and maintain a healthy weight. In general, individuals should take part in at least 30 minutes of moderate-level aerobic exercise per day at least five days per week.
- Diabetes: If you are unsure whether you have diabetes, speak with your provider about how to be screened. And, if you have diabetes, it is important to take steps to control your blood sugar by ensuring that your hemoglobin A1c is <7%. Elevated blood sugars over time can damage the inside of your blood vessels and lead to atherosclerosis.
- High cholesterol: Consult with your doctor to find out whether you need a lipid (cholesterol) panel. If you don't reach your goal cholesterol number despite eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly, your doctor may prescribe lipid-lowering medicine, such as statins.
- Unhealthy diet: A healthy diet is an effective means of preventing atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases. This includes: three to five servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit per day; two servings of fish high in omega-3-fatty acids per week; four handfuls of almonds and/or walnuts per week; use of healthy oils like olive and canola; and picking whole grains over refined.