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Lack of awareness key factor in cardiovascular disease

DUBAI, September 20, 2015

Lack of awareness,  along with lifestyle-related factors, is a a key factor that leads to the high incidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in Dubai, says a specialist cardiologist at Medeor 24x7 Hospital.

According to Stanley George, there are many misconceptions about the disease, and that many people suffering from CVD don’t take timely action since they are either unaware of the symptoms, or don’t realise the importance of seeking medical attention for some of the risk factors and symptoms that manifest early on.

Due to lack this of awareness, there are several misconceptions that people have developed about the disease. These include:
• CVD affects only older people – The truth is that lifestyle plays an important role increasing the risk factors for CVD. Plaque can start accumulating in the arteries, leading to clogged arteries right from childhood due to unhealthy eating habits such as eating junk and sugar laden foods. Today, heart disease is manifesting in young and middle-aged people, especially with obesity, Type 2 diabetes and hypertension on the rise in younger people.
• Having diabetes under control will help keep heart disease at bay – Treating diabetes can reduce the risk of CVD developing. However, risk factors that lead to diabetes are also those that can cause CVD. Other factors such as obesity, high blood pressure, smoking and lack of exercise only exacerbate the problem.
• Heart attacks are generally associated with chest pain – That isn’t true. According to George, “While it’s common to have chest pain or discomfort, symptoms of a heart attack can also cause shortness of breath, nausea, feeling lightheaded and pain in the jaw, neck or back.”
• CVD is a man’s disease – according to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the number one killer of women, causing one in three deaths each year.
• People suffering from heart disease should take it easy and not exercise – Research supports the fact that moderate levels of exercise boost cardiovascular health; heart attack survivors who included exercise in their lifestyle show higher survival rates. George recommends at a minimum of two and a half hours of moderate intensity physical activity each week.
• Angioplasty and bypass surgery takes care of heart problems – While these procedures take care of symptoms and improve a patient’s quality of life they don’t necessarily treat the risk of atherosclerosis. Without the right lifestyle changes, arteries will continue to get clogged with fatty plaque, causing the return of angina, a heart attack, or stroke.

George recommends that people should get cholesterol levels checked the earlier the better. High cholesterol levels are a risk factor for CVD. It is prudent to start checking it in one’s 20s, especially if there is a family history of the same.

He also recommends regular check-ups, especially if there is family history of CVD, and lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, exercising more and eating a healthy diet.- TradeArabia News Service
 




Tags: CVD | cardiovascular disease |

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