Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) is one of the most common causes of death worldwide. According to Shifa International, up to 40% deaths in Pakistan are due to cardiovascular diseases with over 200,000 people dying because of CHD every year. A heart attack occurs when the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the heart is blocked. Coronary Heart Disease is the most common cause of a heart attack.
There are numerous reasons which can lead to a heart attack. Contrary to popular belief, even young children can have one. So it is not just one’s lifestyle which can sow the seeds for a heart attack later in life. There are multiple reasons and today we’ll give you guys a round up.
1. Family history
If you have a family history of CHD, particularly a close relative who had a heart attack before 60, then there is a greater chance that you could have one too. However, it doesn’t always mean that it will happen. While CHD is genetic, it could be that your parents had a heart attack due to their bad lifestyle. You could avoid it by eating clean and exercising regularly.
The older you get the more prone you are to getting a heart attack. 80% of the people who die of a heart disease are over 60 years of age. Gender also plays an interesting role here. Older women who have a severe heart attack are likely to die within a week as compared to older men who have a heart attack. However, generally men are more prone to getting a heart attack. Even though the risk of women getting a heart attack increases after menopause.
3. High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, also known as Hypertension, is extremely prevalent in Pakistan with 33% people above 45 suffering from it. It is also 19% common in people above the age of 15. Hypertension can be the root cause of multiple diseases like coronary artery disease, kidney failure, vision loss, strokes, and heart attacks. If you suffer from high blood pressure it would be a good thing to keep it in check by taking medicine regularly, modifying your diet by decreasing salt intake, and keeping your weight under control.
4. High Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a type of fat in our blood and our body makes all that it needs. However, eating food rich in oil and fat can lead to high cholesterol which starts to build up in your arteries and blocks blood flow. This can cause a heart attack. So keep your cholesterol in check and keep a low-fat diet.
5. Being Overweight
Obesity or being overweight can lead to multiple diseases. Hypertension and high cholesterol also branch from it. All of this can lead to a heart attack. So if you are already overweight or if you’re going above the safe limit, you might want to hit the gym as soon as possible. Also, identify the reason why you got overweight in the first place. Some people love eating burgers while others have a sweet tooth. Stop eating out regularly and shift to a plain natural diet. Read more here to find out which foods to avoid when trying to lose weight.
6. Lack of Physical Activity
Don’t think for a minute that if you don’t look fat you’re safe. If you have a sedentary lifestyle or a job that requires you to sit all the time, you could be just as prone to a heart attack as someone who is overweight. By not exercising or not doing any significant physical activity you’re not burning all the calories you’re taking in. We highly recommend you set aside an hour each day for some basic exercise.
The Journal of Pakistan Medical Association & National Health Survey has reported that the number of diabetic people in Pakistan will rise to 13.9 million by 2020, making us the 4th country with the most diabetic patients. If you happen to suffer from Diabetes, particularly type 2, you’re at a risk to get a heart attack. And if you happen to be a woman that risk goes even higher. Diabetes narrows arteries and since women already have smaller arteries as compared to men being diabetic makes women more prone to a heart attack. However, having a healthy lifestyle and exercising regularly will not only keep your Diabetes in check but also reduce your risk of getting a heart attack.
We’ve all heard the saying that smoking kills yet people continue to smoke. Up to 21% adolescents and adults smoke in Pakistan. Being a chain smoker can cause multiple health complications also increasing the risk to get a heart attack. So if you smoke and if you have a family history of CHD, consider quitting smoking for your own sake.