Ladies, love your heart

2016-09-28 06:00
PHOTO: sourced For a healthy heart, aim for at least two-and-a-half hours of moderate physical activity each week.

PHOTO: sourced For a healthy heart, aim for at least two-and-a-half hours of moderate physical activity each week.

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SEPTEMBER is Heart Awareness Month and last year the Heart and Stroke Foundation compared heart disease to the crime statistics and noted that while 49 people were murdered in South Africa every day between 2014 and 2015, but 210 people died from heart disease daily ... with women being a large percentage.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is known as a non-communicable disease (NCD) - the World Health Organisation estimates the burden of NCDs in South Africa to be two to three times higher than in developed countries, accounting for up to 43% of total adult deaths.

“The tragedy is that the majority of CVDs are preventable,” says Dr Ramasia (Bonitas Medical). “Preventing and managing CVDs is vital and this means as well as educating health professionals on what to look out for and treatment, we also need women to realise the severity of heart disease and that it is one of their biggest health threats.”

• Get active. Aim for at least two-and-a-half hours of moderate activity each week.

• Control cholesterol. There are two types - the good kind (HLD) and the bad kind (LDL). High levels of bad cholesterol can clog your arteries, increasing your risk of heart attack and stroke.

• Eat better. Eating the right foods can help you control your weight, blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol.

• Manage blood pressure by managing your stress. Keeping your blood pressure in a healthy range starts with eating a heart-healthy diet and exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, limiting salt and alcohol, and reducing stress levels.

• Maintain a healthy weight. Overweight and obesity are risk factors for CVD.

• Reduce blood sugar. Diabetes is a risk factor. Heart disease death rates among adults with diabetes are two to four times higher.

• Stop smoking. It’s time to kick the habit.

• Know your family history.

CVD-related risk factors:

• 18% of the population smoke tobacco;

• one in three SA adults (33.7%) have hypertension;

• 31.3% adults in South Africa are obese;

• 40% of women in South Africa are obese;

• one in four girls and one in five boys between the ages of two and 14 years are overweight;.

- World Heart Federation, The Heart and Stroke Foundation SA, World Health Organisation, World Economic Forum, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

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