Cardiac Risk Factors

It is very obvious that the vast majority of adults at a much younger age than before are losing the battle of coronary heart disease and stroke.

In fact in Australia alone 60% of adults are actually dying prematurely from some form of circulation disease.  That is 6 out of every 10 people:

Not a pretty picture.

I guess the two obvious questions to be asked are:

  • What are you going to do to not be one of the six?
  • What are the main risk factors for cardiac disease?

Question one is simply answered by each and every one of us becoming that elusive “active” person who regularly participates in aerobic activity, exercise and has developed sensible eating habits.

So if we are to become motivated and encouraged to develop a lifestyle which gives us the best possible chance of not becoming yet another statistic then we have to avoid the major risk factors.

We are very fortunate that medical science has improved as quickly and as effectively in cardiac surgery especially the by-pass because our lifestyle has become far worse and the chances of us not requiring some form of cardiac surgery is becoming less and less.

This is costing society billions of dollars but the bottom line for me is that I really do not want open heart surgery … I would much rather be active! How about you?

  • THE MAJOR CARDIAC RISK FACTORS.
  1. CIGARETTE SMOKING

The risk of heart attack is doubled in heavy smokers.  The risk of sudden death from heart attack is 5 times higher for smokers than non-smokers.

Will the increased knowledge of passive or side-stream smoking, demand that you do not allow people to smoke around you.

A recent study showed that a waiter working an 8-hour shift in a smoke-filled bar room had actually absorbed the poisons from 25 cigarettes.  That is over a pack a day — and he is a non-smoker.

FRIGHTENING!

  • HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE

If you have high blood pressure you have up to four times the risk of heart disease.  Approximately I in 6 Australians have high blood pressure so have your blood pressure checked regularly.

  • OBESITY

Obesity puts an enormous strain on all parts of the body and is a major contributing factor to high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels and diabetes.  People who are over 20% overweight have 3 times the risk of those who are the correct weight.

  • DIABETES

Heart disease is very common in people with diabetes.  An enormous number of adult diabetes has been caused by poor and excessive eating habits in regard to high levels of fat and low levels of complex carbohydrates

  • HEREDITARY, AGE AND SEX

If members of your family have suffered from high blood pressure or heart disease then you have to be very careful of your lifestyle as there is a deal of evidence to indicate hereditary and genetic factors which give you the tendency to suffer from these diseases.

The chance of heart disease naturally increases with age and men tend to be the more prone to heart disease but women who smoke and take the pill should take special care.

  • HIGH BLOOD CHOLESTEROL LEVELS

Excessive cholesterol and fats in the blood certainly are a major contributing factor to both artery and heart disease.  Diet is the major contributing factor.

  • SEDENTARY LIFESTYLE

If you are regularly partaking of aerobic activity then the heart muscle becomes stronger and more efficient.  Inactive people have 3 times the risk of heart attack.

  • STRESS

The type of person you are and how you react to everyday situations and in fact how you cope with stress is a major consideration and factor leading to heart attack.  Recent studies indicate that stress alone will not normally cause heart disease but if you have some of the other risk factors it is stress which will virtually ‘knock you on the head’.  The type of stress you need to avoid is DISTRESS!

  • MULTIPLE RISK FACTORS

This should be a major consideration as risk factors for heart disease do not simply add up: they multiply.

If you have 3 risk factors you do not have 3 times the risk you have about 10 times the risk.  For instance if you smoke you may have 3 tickets in this “lottery of life”.  But if you smoke and are sedentary – 7 tickets, add obesity – 10 tickets, High blood pressure – 16 tickets.

And so on!

Not very encouraging!

This is one lottery you do not want to win,

So

Live a lifestyle that gives you as few tickets as possible.  “Go on have a heart!”

Cardiac Risk Factors

60% of Australians suffer from premature circulation problems.

6 out of 10 … why not you?

Cigarette Smoker:                 ¨ Yes                  ¨ No

High Blood Pressure:            ¨ Yes                  ¨ No

Obesity:                                  ¨ Yes                  ¨ No

Diabetes:                                ¨ Yes                  ¨ No

Hereditary:                            ¨ Yes                  ¨ No

Age (40 years +):                    ¨ Yes                  ¨ No

Sex (Male):                             ¨ Yes                  ¨ No

High LDL Cholesterol:           ¨ Yes                  ¨ No

Sedentary Lifestyle:               ¨ Yes                  ¨ No

Stress:                                    ¨ Yes                  ¨ No

Total “yes”                              ___________

 

Multiple risk factor tickets in “The Lotto of Life”:

1 factor: 1 ticket                    2 factors: 4 tickets                     3 factors: 9 tickets

4 factors: 16 tickets               5 factors: 25 tickets                   6 factors: 36 tickets

7 factors: 49 tickets               8 factors: 64 tickets                   9 factors: 81 tickets

10 factors …….. 100 tickets … oops!

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