A healthy heart: the key is prevention

cardiovascular disease prevention

  • In Chile Cardiovascular diseases are the main cause of death in Chile and represent 25.6% of all deaths in the country, according to the Department of Statistics and Health Information (DEIS)[1].

  • The consumption of tobacco and alcohol, or pathologies such as obesity, diabetes, and lack of exercise, are determinants for the development of diseases related to the heart and circulatory system.

September 29 marks World Heart Day, a date that encourages those who work in the field of health to promote healthy behaviors, in order to prevent the development of diseases associated with the cardiovascular or circulatory system, reinforcing the commitment of all the population to take care of this vital organ.

In Chile, the Department of Statistics and Health Information (DEIS) registered a total of 28,079 deaths due to cardiovascular diseases, that is, 25.6% of all deaths in the country, only during 2019. Worldwide, it is estimated that 17.9 million lives are lost each year due to these pathologies, being one of the main causes of death on the planettwo.

Hypertension, cerebrovascular accidents (CVA) and myocardial infarctions, better known as heart attacks, are some of the most common ailments in our country. However, the vast majority of these diagnoses can be prevented by assuming healthy habits and a lifestyle that include a balanced diet, frequent physical exercise, and maintaining a balance of life that allows us to organize our personal life with leisure and entertainment spaces. .

According to Irina Arias, Medical Director of Merck Chile & Peru, although age and family history may be influential in the probability of developing cardiovascular disease, taking care of the heart may be easier than it seems.

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“Having a responsible behavior with ourselves is key to maintaining a healthy heart: sleep well, exercise with an adequate duration and frequency to avoid sedentary lifestyle and therefore overweight and obesity, eat healthy, especially not consuming high amounts of sugar, preventing the early onset of prediabetes and diabetes, reducing fats related to cholesterol and salt, are important steps, since all these factors increase the chances of suffering cardiovascular accidents. Integrating these habits into the routine not only improves our heart health, but also has a positive effect on our health in general”, highlights Arias.

An issue that is the responsibility of each person is to be aware that early medical check-ups are the most effective tool to prevent the deterioration of all the arteries in the body, which we commonly call arteriosclerosis.

“Periodic medical control is a priority. In the case of adults who do not have risk factors, they should be checked from the age of 30 and those who have risk factors such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity and overweight, should do so every year. With responsible and disciplined behavior, we can prevent more than 70% of cardiovascular diseases”, added the professional.

Dr. Arias clarifies that the first care can be done with a general practitioner who has the knowledge to investigate any anomaly, and depending on the severity, should refer to a specialist.

“The important thing is to get a heart check-up and recognize that there are habits and diseases that increase the risk of suffering from cardiovascular diseases. However, this does not mean that people who apparently look or feel healthy should not have a heart check-up every year. Being thin but sedentary or a smoker does not guarantee that cardiovascular disease can develop over time,” he warns.

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Although a cardiovascular disease can express itself in different ways in men and women, the Medical Director of Merck Chile & Peru advises paying special attention to shortness of breath, numbness, weakness or pain in the chest, legs, arms, hands and even in the chest. abdomen. “Being attentive to any discomfort that seems strange is useful to detect cardiovascular disease in time, but the best way to avoid it will always be prevention: saying no to sedentary lifestyle and smoking, not having diabetes and other similar conditions, are the ideal prescription for a healthy heart”, concludes Arias.

[1] INE. Chili. LINK

2 World Health Organization. LINK

The Article Is In Spanish🡽

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