Nothing shocks us
more than hearing of some friend or acquaintance being struck down in the prime
of life by a -SUDDEN HEART ATTACK.
It's happening all
over - and in India with ever increasing frequency. Events like these bring us
jarringly face to face with our own mortality. But are these attacks really
This article offers insight and hope--with a
shortlist of the major causes of a heart attack--and tells you what you can do
to avoid it.
A recent study
INTESTROKE, presented at the
World Congress of Cardiology (WCC) 2010 identified modifiable
risk factors that accounted for 90% of disease. The study also showed that
relatively simple measures, such as blood-pressure control, could reduce the
burden of heart disease.
as the silent killer, hypertension is by far the major cause of heart failure;
which, when you think of it, is extremely regrettable, because knowing your
pressure does not call for complicated or expensive blood tests or analysis of
It takes just a
couple of minutes, and with modern medical equipment can be measured in almost
any setting: pharmacies, impromptu health-check camps or, with a little
instruction, even at home.
pressure 120/80 mm Hg is considered normal, anything above either of the two
figures means you're at risk.)
Other heart related
risk factors include-
• abdominal obesity
• alcohol intake
• physical activity
- or more precisely lack of it-
• diabetes mellitus
All these together
with hypertension account for 90% of all strokes.
speaking, the Intestroke study showed that of the major risk factors,
hypertension carries a 34.6 risk percentile, making it by far the most serious.
Abdominal fat has
long been associated with cardiac problems and the easiest gauge is the waist
-to- hip ratio. Statistics show that a 'heart -stopping' 26.5% of the
population is at risk of contacting heart disease due to excessive abdominal
Smoking scores a
critical 18.9% making it another factor to watch out for.
Lack of physical activity and ratio of
apolipoprotein B to A1 account for 28.5 & 24.9 percentage of population at
Of the other risk
factors, alcohol intake and diabetes account for 3.8% and 5% respectively while
psychological factors such as stress and depression put 4.6 to 5.2% of the
population at risk.
Mother knows best
So what can you do
to keep your heart healthy? This is one instance when medical science and
conventional wisdom are in perfect agreement; Do what your mum always nagged
you to do -- quit smoking, lose weight and eat healthy. Prevention is, any day
better than cure!