Health A-Z

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Prevention

Because pericarditis can be the result of so many very different illnesses, there are no routine guidelines to prevent the condition. You can help prevent pericarditis caused by infections by practicing good hygiene, especially washing your hands often, and by keeping up with recommended immunizations.

To prevent pericarditis caused by heart attack, you can reduce your risk of coronary artery disease by not smoking, eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, lowering LDL cholesterol and controlling blood pressure.

To reduce your risk of trauma-related pericarditis, you should wear a seat belt whenever you drive and wear appropriate chest-protecting equipment when you play contact sports.

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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