- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Coronary Heart Disease – Coronary Heart Disease is a Disease of Concern this World Heart Day
Today is World Heart Day. This would be the best day to slow down and have a heart for one’s own heart!
It has been seen in the recent times that it is not just the very elderly that are falling prey to heart diseases, hold your breath; the very young too join the dreaded bandwagon.
What is the main factor leading to this sudden queuing up of youngsters to hit the beds in the ICUs of heart care centers? It is the menacingly unhealthy lifestyle they have come to follow.
It was a decade or two back I witnessed the death of my dear uncle, he was a victim of heart disease, he died at a young age of 42. He was a heavy smoker.
It was not a week past since I witnessed the sad demise of my uncle that his neighbor too succumbed to heart disease, he was just 32 years of age.
It was strange, two neighbors dying of heart disease, and stranger the fact that both were not very aged, so as to die of heart disease. But, anyway, it’s no fiction that I was witness to, the time had come when there is no clear distinction between who gets heart disease, the aged or the young. Gone are the days when the ICU beds had only the aged recovering from heart disease, well diseases in particular with their age. A new generation has dawned were you and I, who have not gone past the ‘youth’ tag, could be the next of the admissions into an ICU of a heart care hospital near our places of residence.
Doctors say that it is a sad fact that 25% of people aged above 30 years of age are diabetic or have hyper tension. It has become a fact that Coronary Artery Disease or CAD, for short, is becoming a major life threatening disease in the years to come.
This is the age of information and technology; well it’s also the age of obesity, diabetes, hypertension, etc. The lethal dose of smoking, tobacco usage, et al, is increasing in many manifolds, so is the disease incidence. Men and women, without much distinction, have become abusive users of smoking and other associated tobacco based ‘pleasure aids’. While smoking leads to irreversible damage to the lungs, their other constituents’ nicotine and tar thickens the arteries which leads to blockages of oxygen and blood supply to the heart.
The latest fad is about preventing heart diseases. All one needs to do to prevent heart diseases, over a decade in advance, is to undergo a health checkup. Other than the contributory factors of smoking, being diabetic, having hypertension, consumption of alcohol, being stressed out and depressed, obesity, etc. are other factors that could simply predict heart disease to happen in the distant future. Doctors say that the risk for heart attack starts a good 10 years earlier and preventive health checks can minimize the risks.
A family history of heart diseases is another factor to worry about since it has come to become a common cause for heart attack, genetic heart disease, that is. Despite you being perfectly normal, you are prone to coronary heart disease if either of your grandfather, father, or brother developed heart disease before the age of 55, or, also if your grandmother, mother, or sister developed the disease before they were 65 years of age.
The advice that doctors share is, whether it is a poor lifestyle or genetics, you have the ability to lower your risk of falling prey to heart disease by just deciding how you would want to live, doctors and hospitals can then do their part in helping you combat the risk.
Lifestyle modifications are all that it takes to prevent or minimize the risks of heart disease. Unhealthy habits lead to acquired heart disease.
Diagnosis of heart disease at a very early stage can minimize the need for surgery, stents, or angioplasty. Keep a tab on your health by frequent health checks. The changes that you could bring to your lifestyle would be to opt for a healthy diet which is rich in fruits and vegetables, add fiber to your diet through use of foods like oats, mushroom, broken wheat, etc., as well keep a good balance over mono and poly saturated fats. Omega 3 fats which is found in fish is known to be good for the heart.
You would go a long way in keeping your heart healthy and fit if you could have a tab on hypertension, reduce salt consumption, quit smoking altogether, avoiding second hand smoke, together with leading an active life with fair amounts of exercising.
A small change to your unhealthy lifestyle is all that it takes to keep your heart healthy and smiling.