Dr. Avnish Jolly, 28th September, 2008: On World Heart Day let us understand the symptoms and the causes of most of heart diseases that affect. Around twenty million people die every year all over the world and more than a million people in India every year. The theme of the World Heart federation for the year 2008 is “World Heart Day: Know your risks”. Heart diseases or heart attacks are the cause for almost one third of the deaths taking place in the world every year.
It is also predicted by the World Health Organisation that in the next three-four years, it will be responsible for the largest number of deaths around the world, higher than AIDS or cancer. The World Health Organisation has also predicted that by the year 2010, sixty per cent of the world’s cardiac patients will be in India. A common misconception is that heart problems affect only aged people, but even youngsters can fall prey to these diseases though cardiac problems are more commonly observed in males above the age of 45 and females above the age of 50. There are some factors, which are referred to as irreversible factors like your age, gender and heredity. These factors are something that you can not change. A male at the age of 60 will be more prone to heart problems than one at the age of 20. It is also observed that males are at a higher risk than females though the risk of heart disease increases in women after menopause. And if your parents have a history of heart problem, then your chances of being affected will also be higher.
To keep your blood pressure under bay you need to reduce your salt intake, smoking as well as alcohol consumption. Frequent exercise and training will also do wonders for your body. But apart from these, almost all the causes of cardiac problems can be controlled but people are generally less informed about these factors. To begin with, you should be able to control and treat your blood pressure. High blood pressure may arise due to several factors but there is medication easily available to keep it under limits. High blood pressure can also be the cause of several other diseases like diabetes, kidney problems etc. High cholesterol in your blood can also increase your chances of heart problems and thus by reducing the intake of fats and exercising regularly you can moderate the cholesterol. Other factors that increase chances of cardiac problems are obesity, homocysteine levels, hypertension, smoking, alcohol and tobacco consumption and diabetes. The general body mass index of the individual should be less than 25.
In the busy lifestyle, the best way of keeping heart problems at bay is by making regular visits to the doctor. Specially for people above the age of forty and professionals, annual heart check ups and counseling may act as great preventive measures to be able to curb these problems right in their inception stages. Heart problems could occur to any of us and we should devote time to having regular heart check ups conducted. To keep your heart beating well, remember to regular exercise well, reduce blood pressure and cholesterol and get regular heart check ups done.