Friday July 20, 2018

4 Ways to Beat the Risk of Heart Attack in your 30s

Unhealthy eating habits and sedentary lifestyle are some major factors why men and women are at the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases early on in life

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A healthy diet can help you to counter heart related diseases
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Jan 10, 2017: According to the WHO, over 17.3 million people die every year from the heart attack and stroke. And if we look at the Indian context, things don’t look bright either. Unhealthy eating habits and sedentary lifestyle are some major factors why men and women are at the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases early on in life.

At an event to commemorate the ‘World Heart Day’, several health experts across the country stated that there are several instances of individuals in the late 20s and early 30s being admitted to hospitals for the treatment of ailments related to the heart. If this trend continues, then the country would transform into the ‘Heart Disease Capital’ of the world in the near future. Heart problems are critical, and the risk can be averted by resorting to the healthy lifestyle.

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Say No to Smoking

If you are a smoker, it’s time to ditch the habit. It is a well-established fact that cigarette smoking is linked to lung cancer and respiratory tract disorders. But, did you know that this habit can also put you at the risk of heart diseases? Here’s how cigarette smoking can lead to heart diseases –

  • Deprives heart from receiving enough oxygen
  • Shoots up the blood pressure
  • Increases heart rate
  • Causes clots in the blood which can cause heart attack and stroke
  • Damages blood vessels of the heart

While most people are aware of the hazardous effects of smoking, giving up on this habit is not easy. One has to stay determined. You could also consult a doctor or physician for medications or techniques to fight the urge to smoke. Try using nicotine gums and patches, which have proved to be effective for other people.

Stay away from Junk Food

Those with a family history of coronary heart diseases should particularly be careful about what they eat. Consuming trans-fat and sodium-laden food can build up fat deposits in the coronary arteries that can further lead to heart failure and even stroke. Therefore, bid adieu to pre-packaged convenience food and say hello to the following dietary choices that promote good health –

  • Increase the intake of dietary fiber like whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, etc.
  • Have a generous portion of fruits and vegetables, especially those with a low glycemic index like apples, cherries, tomatoes, lettuce, cauliflower, bell pepper, bottle gourd, etc.
  • Include supplements like fish oil and Omega fatty acids which help control cholesterol and high blood pressure.
  • Consume enough water. Health experts point out that consuming an adequate amount of water per day can significantly reduce the risk of heart diseases. Studies have also indicated that not drinking enough water can lead to dehydration, thereby elevating the risk of heart diseases, such as, whole blood viscosity, plasma viscosity, hematocrit and fibrinogen. Therefore, invest in a good water purifier, such as a Kent water filter that gives out pure drinking water without leaching out essential natural minerals. This way you will have access to clean and fresh drinking water always.

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Don’t be a Couch Potato

For the optimal cardiovascular health, the American Heart Association recommends

  • 30 minutes of a moderate aerobic workout for five days a week or 25 minutes of a high-intensity aerobic exercise for at least three days in a week is essential.
  • Muscle or strength training for a minimum of 2 days in a week is also advantageous for weight loss along with many health benefits.

Therefore, put on your workout gear and chalk out a fitness goal. People who are over-weight should start with a moderate workout, and slowly transcend to a more vigorous routine. Group classes for aerobics and Zumba are fun to attend, and will also keep you motivated. Look out for unique exercise options in your neighbourhood. These days, several social apps will connect you with people who are on a similar mission for good health. It’s always better to work out with a buddy than alone. You can also consider joining a running group. It is a great way to reach your fitness goal and strike new bonds of friendship, at the same time.

Correct your Sleep Cycle

Not many people realize, but there is a strong correlation between the lack of sleep and an increased risk of heart diseases. Sleeping for less than six or seven hours a day is not good for heart health.

  • The shorter spell of sleep shoots up the blood pressure and increases the danger of heart attack and stroke
  • Sleep deprivation can also lead to the increased heart rate.

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Whether for a healthy heart or better concentration, maintaining the sleep hygiene is quite important. In the age of the internet and smartphones, people tend to stay awake for long hours. As a result, they are unable to have the required amount of sleep at night. The key is to shut all distractions, such as, laptops, phones, TV, etc. few hours before the sleep time. If you are required to get up at a certain time every morning, clock your sleep time accordingly.

Wishing for good health is not enough. You need to take a good care of yourself to enjoy the optimal health not just in your younger days but throughout.

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Know Your ‘Heart Age’ to Avert Attack

Patients who were told their Heart Age were far more likely to take action to live healthier lifestyles, such as quitting smoking

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heart beat rate
Atrial fibrillation (Afib) disorder, is characterised by increased or irregular heart rhythm that increases the risk of stroke, heart failure and other cardiovascular diseases. Pixabay

You are more likely to adopt healthy lifestyle if you know your ‘Heart Age’ rather than just knowing the “chances” of your developing a cardiovascular disease, claims a study.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the world’s biggest killer, but doctors have long struggled to explain risk factors to patients in a way that encourages them to change their behaviour — thus reducing risk.

Risk scores for diseases such as CVD are usually presented as a “percent chance” of contracting the disease within the next 10 years.

Researchers at the University of the Balearic Islands, Spain, carried out the study amongst 3,153 patients, who were randomly assigned to one of three groups before completing an annual health assessment.

One group was then presented with their chances of contracting CVD expressed as a “percentage risk”, while another received the same information expressed as their estimated “Heart Age”.

electrocardiogram
Representational image. Pixabay

A third control group only received general guidance on healthy living. Follow-up measurements were recorded a year later during the subsequent annual health assessment.

Patients who were told their Heart Age were far more likely to take action to live healthier lifestyles, such as quitting smoking.

“We know that traditional risks scores can be confusing. We wanted to test whether using the Heart Age Calculator to talk to patients about their CVD risk would have an effect on motivating them to adopt healthier lifestyles and, in turn, reduce their risk of developing CVD,” said Pedro Tauler, the lead author of the study.

Also Read: Smokers Lack Motivation, Get Tired Easily

The results showed that patients who had been told their CVD risk (both as a percentage or Heart Age) demonstrated significant decreases in their risk scores compared to the control group, with improvements being greatest in the Heart Age group.

Quitting rate for smokers was four times greater in the Heart Age group compared to those who received the traditional percentage risk scores.

“This would suggest that the mere fact of presenting the patients with information that is easy to understand has a positive effect in engaging them to take preventive action,” said Tauler. (IANS)