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World Heart Day 2020: Diabetes, High Blood Pressure And Other Comorbidities Linked To Heart Disease

World Heart Day: A diet high in saturated fats, trans fat and cholesterol can increase your risk of heart disease. Read here to know other lifestyle factors that may affect your heart health.

World Heart Day 2020: Diabetes, High Blood Pressure And Other Comorbidities Linked To Heart Disease

World Heart Day 2020 images: Follow a healthy lifestyle to prevent heart disease

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. People with high blood pressure are at higher risk of heart disease
  2. Avoid eating foods rich in saturated and trans fat to reduce your risk
  3. Quit smoking to reduce your risk of heart disease

World Heart Day: There are several reasons that can put you at a risk of developing heart-related diseases. A sedentary lifestyle, genetic factors (age/family history) and unhealthy eating habits are key risks. About half of Indians between 35- 60 years of age have at least one of the three key risk factors for heart disease: high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes. While genetic factors contributing to heart ailments cannot be controlled, co-morbidities like hypertension, BP and diabetes can be controlled to lower the risk. This World Heart Day, which is observed in September 28 across the world, we are going to talk about causes of heart disease and the comorbidities that may be linked to it.

Heart Day 2020: Co-morbidities that are risk factors for heart disease


Following are a few health conditions that may increase or put you at risk of heart disease if you don't control or manage them well with the right diet and lifestyle:

1. High blood pressure

It is a medical condition in which the pressure of the blood in the arteries and other blood vessels is too high and uncontrolled. This can affect the heart and other organs like brain and the kidneys. Often termed as a "silent killer" high BP usually does not manifest any solid symptoms. The only way to know whether you have high blood pressure is to measure your blood pressure regularly.

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People with high blood pressure should monitor their readings regularly
Photo Credit: iStock

Also read: World Heart Day 2020: Everything You Need To Know About Heart Failure

2. Unhealthy blood cholesterol levels

Cholesterol is the fatty substance produced by the liver and is also found in certain foods. The liver makes enough fat as per requirements of the body, but we often get more cholesterol from the foods we eat. If we take in more cholesterol than the body can use, the extra cholesterol can build up in the walls of the arteries, including those of the heart. This causes the arteries to become narrow which in turn restricts the free flow of blood to the heart and the brain. This health condition also does not have any symptoms, therefore an annual test for lipid profile should be done to ascertain healthy cholesterol levels.

3. Diabetes

The body needs glucose (sugar) for energy. Insulin is a hormone made in the pancreas that helps move glucose from the food you eat to your body's cells for energy. If you have diabetes that means that the body is not making enough insulin. Diabetes causes sugar build up in the blood. The risk of death from heart disease for adults with diabetes is higher than for adults who do not have diabetes.

Also read: Diabetes Diet: These Teas Can Help You Control Blood Sugar Levels Naturally

4. Obesity

Obesity is excess body fat. Obesity is linked to higher "bad" cholesterol and triglyceride levels and to lower "good" cholesterol levels. Obesity can lead to high blood pressure and diabetes as well as heart disease.

Lifestyle habits that increase the risk of heart disease

  • A diet high in saturated fats, trans fat, and cholesterol
  • Sedentary lifestyle/ Not enough physical activity- This not only increases chances of heart attacks, but also other medical conditions including obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.
  • Excessive intake of alcohol

Smoking and Heart disease 

  • Cigarette smoking can damage the heart and blood vessels, which increases your risk for heart conditions such as atherosclerosis and heart attack.
  • Nicotine raises blood pressure.
  • Carbon monoxide from cigarette smoke reduces the amount of oxygen that your blood can carry.
  • Exposure to second-hand smoke can also increase the risk for heart disease, even for non-smokers.

Also read: Know How Cigarette Smoking Can Affect Fertility


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(Dr Mukesh Goel, Senior Consultant, Cardio Thoracic Surgery, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals)

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