Ask an Expert: Is It Ever Too Late to Start Preventive Care for Heart Disease?

This article is part of Health Divide: Heart Disease Risk Factors, a destination in our Health Divide series.

ask an expert Dr. Velarde

Julie Bang / Verywell

Meet the Expert

Gladys Velarde, M.D. is a member of the American College of Cardiology Prevention, Disparities of Care Work Group, and on the editorial board. Dr. Velarde's clinical interests include heart disease in women and other populations along with preventive care.

Verywell Health: Is it ever too late to start preventive care for heart disease?

Dr. Velarde: It’s never too late. But the sooner you start, the better.

Lifestyle habits are ingrained and hard to change. So, the longer you wait, the harder it is to change and adopt new habits. But it is never too late to start. Benefits of healthy lifestyle changes are seen even if adopted later in life.

For example, there’s evidence that regardless of when you stop smoking, you will reap some benefits and have fewer negative health outcomes. Similarly, addressing other risk factors, like blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol control, will translate to better cardiovascular outcomes no matter when you start the preventive care.

So, no, it’s never too late to start preventive care. But we are creatures of habit, so the sooner we start something, the better the benefits, and the easier it becomes to sustain.

2 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Smoking and tobacco use: benefits of quitting.

  2. American Cancer Society. Health benefits for quitting smoking over time.