There are occasions when being repetitious is excusable. One such occasion is when spreading valuable knowledge and tips on critical health issues. Let’s re-visit Cardiovascular disease, CVD , the big health problem and the leading cause of death worldwide. By now, most of us are aware that smoking, an unhealthy diet, the lack of exercise and an unhealthy lifestyle can increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
The Risk Factors…
There are at least ten risk factors that are responsible for CVD. Knowing the risk factors can help us predict the likelihood of the disease. They are:
1. Smoking : This is the leading cause of CVD and research shows that smokers are up to 60 per cent more at risk.
2. Heredity, or Family History : The risk of CVD can be passed on by the genes, along with other conditions, such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
3. Advancing Age : The older you are, the more likely that you can develop CVD.
4. Gender : CVD death rates in older men are higher than in older women.
5. Obesity or Overweight : Your risk increases if you are overweight, especially having excess abdominal fat. So keep your waist line below 94cm (37 inches) for men and below 80cm 931.5 inches) for women.
6. Diabetes : People with diabetes have a 2 to 4-fold increased risk of CVD compared with those without diabetes.
7. High Blood Pressure : High blood pressure increases your chance of developing hear disease, a stroke and other serious and related conditions.
8. Lack of Exercise or Physical Inactivity : Exercise or increased physical activity help protect against CVD and other chronic conditions.
9. Ethnicity : CVD rates vary amongst people of different ethnicity, being highest for those with African backgrounds.
10. Blood Cholesterol Levels : Abnormal levels mean higher risk for CVD.
What about stress caused by a hectic lifestyle and emotional stress? Well, some authorities believe that emotional stress is a risk factor, but apparently the evidence to support that is not clear-cut.
Taking Control …
Many of the risk factors are interrelated. Obesity, the lack of exercise and smoking (including ‘passive smoking’ from environmental exposure) can raise blood pressure and adversely influence blood cholesterol levels. The more risk factors a person has, the greater is his chance of developing heart disease. Advancing Age, Ethnicity, Family History and Gender are factors you cannot modify, but fortunately the other risk factors can be influenced by your behaviour, which means you can take control.
So it’s not too late to modify your behaviour and take control of these risk factors : Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Lack of Exercise, Smoking, Overweight and Blood Cholesterol Levels. Go and have a serious chat with your family physician. I know you will look after your health. Stay healthy, Stay happy …