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October 22, 2019

Are you at risk of a Heart attack?

By Professor Dr Maung

A shocking news
It was stated in Kyemon newspaper on 29th April. ‘Around the world at every thirty-four seconds, a person is dying from cardiovascular disease particularly due to ischemic heart attack’, it said.
World Health Organization reported that there were 30,295 numbers of deaths due to ischemic heart attack in 2017 in Myanmar comprising 7.6% of total death for the year.
Dr Ko Ko Zaw (Department of Medical Research, Ministry of Health and Sports) and his team did a study in 2017 in four townships in Myanmar and reported that the prevalence of possible heart attack was 7.5% and the prevalence of hypertension was 51%.
Ischemic heart disease is caused by progressive narrowing of blood vessels, the process called atherosclerosis.

Narrowing of arteries over the age
The narrowing of arteries with ages is caused by cholesterol in the diet. When taken in excess, it deposits onto the inner wall of arteries starting the damaging process. The smooth inner lining of the vessel wall becomes damaged and replaced by fibrous tissue resulting in hardening and narrowing of the lumen. Over time, fibrous tissue builds up as plaques, limiting the blood flow. Atherosclerosis causes ischemic heart attack, stroke or even death.
In fact, atherosclerosis is an inevitable aging process. Although it is not coming up to disease level, it starts early in life and everyone have had it.
The risk of this process developing into disease depends on the presence of risk factors.

Risk factors
The important risk factors include age, family history, smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus, high cholesterol in the blood, overweight and obesity, unhealthy eating habits and lack of physical activity.
While you are reading this article, in the moment of ten minutes, almost twenty persons are dying because of coronary heart disease over the world. The question is ‘How can it be sure that you are not the next in another ten minutes or ten hours’ time.?’. The chance of developing a heart attack depends on how many risk factors you are having.

Chance of having coronary heart disease.
By answering twelve questions released by Australia Heart Foundation, one can guess himself the possibility of coronary heart disease.
What you find out in the next few minutes could probably save your life.
Add up your total score that indicates if your score is:
12-20: You manage your heart well and do many of the right things. Keep up the good work.
21-30: You have a few risks. If you are over 45, now is the time to get a heart health check.
31-40: You have some risk factors which need to be managed. Must get a heart check today.
41-48: You have significant risk of heart disease or may already have it. Check back on the questions where your score was high. Identify the lifestyles changes you might need and start accordingly right away. Keep in touch with a doctor and follow the instructions ASAP.

Take home messages
Coronary heart disease is a leading cause of death not only in Myanmar but also all over the world.
By answering twelve questions released by Australia Heart Foundation, one can guess himself the possibility of heart attack.
Understanding the risk factors and lifestyle modification is crucial importance for preventing a heart attack.
Let your wisdom save your life.
References:
1. Cardiovascular diseases(CVDs). WHO Report. 17 May 2017
2. Prevalence of cardiovascular morbidities in Myanmar. Ko Ko Zaw, New New and Su Su Hlaing. Published online 2017 Feb 15.
3. Mechanism of beneficial effects of physical activity on atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease. J.Appl Physiol 2011 Jul: 111(1): 308-310
4. Coronary Heart disease in Myanmar. World Life Expectancy. https://www.worldlifeecpectancy.com/myanmar
5. Are you at risk of heart disease? https://www.heartfoundation.org.au

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