Health A-Z

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Prevention

The only way to prevent edema is to prevent the cause. Smoking is the main cause of chronic lung disease. Congestive heart failure most often is caused by coronary artery disease, high blood pressure or drinking too much alcohol. To avoid leg swelling on long trips, stand up and walk around often. Ideally, you should get up once an hour. If that's not possible, then exercise your feet and lower legs while sitting. This will help the veins move blood back toward the heart.

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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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