-HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM CVDs
BY FRANCCIS OKOYE
In a webinar in lead up to world heart day 2016 by citizen news service for the media, health experts from all over the world spoke on cardiovascular diseases, known as CVDs, and revealed why CVDs not AIDS is world’s leading killer disease and how to protect oneself from CVDs.
The experts include Rachael Shaw, project manager world heart federation, and official organizer of world heart days, Prof Dr Rishi Sethi, Department of cardiology, King George’s medical university KGMU, and organizing secretary of X1 National conference of Indian specialty council of cardiological society of India. Alice Granger Gasser, programme Development manager, world Heart federation with moderator, Ashok Ramsarup, former senior programme producer south African broadcasting corporation SABC and co-moderator shobha shukla managing editor, citizen news service.
It has been a year since our governants committed to reduce mortality related to non communicable disease NCDs by 1/3 by 2030 , the 4 main NCDs are CVDs, diabetes, cancer and lung disease.
THE FACTS ABOUT CVDs
CVDs are number I cause of death globally; CVDs are a group of disorders of the heart and blood vessels and includes: Coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, congenital heart disease and deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism
In 2012, 31% of all global deaths were attributed to CVDs, that is 17.5 million deaths, 7.4 million of these due to coronary heart disease while 6.7 million were due to stroke.
HERE ARE THE FACTS ABOUT CVDs ACCORDING TO HEATH EXPERTS
- Majority of cardiovascular disease is caused by risk factors that can be controlled or modified. Such as high blood pressure, cholesterol, overweight /obesity, tobacco use, lack of physical activity and diabetes.
- High blood pressure: Nearly 1 billion people have high blood pressure, 2/3 of who are in developing countries. It is one of the most important cause of premature death worldwide. By 2025, about 1.56 billion adult will be living with hypertension.
- Tobacco: the risk of developing CVDs higher in female smokers, young men and heavy smokers.
- Diabetes: in 2008, a record 1.3 million deaths globally from diabetes was recorded. CVDs account for 60% of all mortality in people with diabetes.
- Physical activity: Insufficient physical activity, the 4th leading risk factor for mortality from CVDs 3.2 million deaths attributed to insufficient physical activity worldwide, mostly from high income countries.
- Cholesterol lipids: Raised cholesterol increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. 1/3 of all ischemic heart disease attribute to high cholesterol. Raised cholesterol is estimated to cause 3.6 million deaths globally.
- Obesity/over weight: 2.88 million people die each year as result of obesity or over weight. Obesity strongly related to CVDs risk factors such as glucose intolerance, type 2 diabetes, raised blood pressure, and dysclipideamia.
- Aging :CVDs effect all but target the aging.
- hypertensive :¼ of people with hypertensive fall between 31-45 years, the condition can no longer be called old age disease ,42% of people have uncontrolled high blood pressure, putting them at risk of heart disease.
- Smoking: we have about 1 billion smokers in the world, most of whom are at risk of CVDs.
- Women health: 1/3 of all woman deaths are from CVDs , one of the non modifiable risk factors for CVDs is gender. Men are at greater risk of having CVDs than pre menopausal women. However, once women are past menopause ,risk similar, while for stroke no gender has less or more risk of it than the other.
- a family history If a first degree blood relation had coronary heart disease or stroke before age 55 (male relative) 0r 65 (female relative) then you have a family history of CVDs and the risk increases of having CVDs.
- The percentage of death through CVDs are high blood pressure 13% Tobacco use 9%. Blood glucose 6% physical activity 6% obesity and overweight 5%.
HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM CVDS
The world heart federation leads the global advocacy effort for action to prevent, control and reduce the global burden of CVDs.
HERE ARE SOME STEPS, AS SUGGESTED BY EXPERTS TO PROTECT YOU FROM CVDS.
- BLOOD PRESSURE CHECKS: Get blood pressure checks regularly as high blood pressure is a silent killer, often no warning signs or symptoms. Many do not know they have it. The best is to buy a blood pressure monitor you can use to check pressure daily or once in two days.
- QUIT SMOKING: studies show that within 2 years of quitting smoking, risk of coronary heart disease is substantially reduced and within 15 years the risk of CVDs returns to that of a non smoker.
- PHYSICAL ACTIVITY: Experts say that you need to do more than 5 times of 30 minutes moderate physical activity per week or more than 3 times of 20 minutes vigorous physical activity per week to avoid insufficient physical activity which is a cause of death through CVDs.
- DIET: High intake of Saturated fat, trans fat and salt should be avoided and high intake of fruits, vegetables and fish world reduce your risk of having cardiovascular disease. WHO recommends salt intake of less than 5 grams/ person per day to help prevent CVDs.
- POSITIVE ACTIONS: Controlling risk factors and taking change of heart can reduce chances of heart attack or stroke by more than 80%. These include early detection, active monitoring of persons CVDs health especially if you have family history of CVDs or belong to the risk group. This world avoid late detection which often leads to fatality. Medical counseling and medicine based on physicians guidance should be applied to CVDs patients. According to world hearth federation, addressing behavioral risk factors can prevent most CVDs.
- CHOLESTEROL: Lowering raised cholesterol reduces the risk of heart disease.
- STRESS AND DEPRESSION: Try to avoid them as they double risk of CVDs.
HOW TO WIN THE WAR AGAINST CVDs
CVDs be made a priority issue among decision makers like politicians, civil servants, international bureaucrats who have power to implement solutions for impactful change.
Policies that will lead to better heart health should be implemented. Data collection is needed on CVDs, with Data; we can prevent the spread of the diseases.
Decision makers are mostly dealing with disease treatment than prevention, and they focus more on infections disease, we need mindset change within disease prevention.
Cardiologist, physiologist, hyschiarist and journalist have to be involved and join hands fighting and educating people about CVDs.
Efforts should be made to reduce Tobacco Consumption in the world. CVDs and NCDs huge barrier to development and economy and neglected in development Agenda. We cannot reduce NCDs without CVDs. FCTC implementation and health system strengthening are two ways to fight CVDs and reduce it. The media should give attention to CVDs agenda in the same way they have done with HIV.
CVDs kill or disable bread winners, who often have no social protection and have less access to heath care. NCDs caused loss for low and medium income countries about 7 trillion dollars.
We have a huge gap between CVDs Burden and funding The SDG should reduce NCDs mortality by 30%, reorient health system, increase health financing, recruitment, development and Training of health workers. Development policies should address risk factors and enough cardiologists should be trained.