Cardiovascular disease (CVD) claims the lives of 18.6 million people each year, making it the leading cause of death in the world. This pathology encompasses all diseases that affect the heart or blood vessels (veins and arteries), as well as coronary and cerebrovascular diseases. The risk of developing CVD is increased by preventable factors such as unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and exposure to tobacco, which in turn are related to high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes or heart failure, or by factors that cannot be modified, such as family history.
It is essential to control these modifiable risk factors, which is why, within the framework of World Heart Day, a call is made through the ‘Numbers that Matter’ campaign; led by AstraZeneca; that seeks to educate and prevent the population while offering tools to understand the importance of a controlled heart rate and a healthy weight.
“Unfortunately, cardiovascular diseases continue to affect men and women equally, the increase in daily cases has been significant due to a combination of risk factors and little knowledge of the disease”, said Dr. Esteban Coto, Medical Director of AstraZeneca for Central America and the Caribbean.
Causes of abnormal heart rate
• Fast or abnormal heart rhythms
• Chronic kidney disease
• Renal insufficiency
• Heart valve problem
• Strong exercise
The functions of the heart can be compromised by endless variants; heart rate and physical inactivity are some of them. Studies have recently been carried out showing that there is a relationship between heart rate and the risk of death; that is, the higher this value, the lower the life expectancy of the patient.
At birth, people have high heart rate ranges that decrease with growth, remaining stable after the age of 20. A normal heart rate is between 50 and 100 beats per minute. However, it is important to note that this figure can be modified by certain activities that are carried out, such as exercise or response to different stimuli such as temperature, body position, walking, being at rest, among others.
How to prevent being overweight?
• Increase consumption of fruits and vegetables.
• Regular physical activity.
• Reduce your intake of fat, sugar, and salt from processed foods.
Related to physical inactivity, this is responsible for 5% of cardiovascular diseases. People who do not exercise are 20-30% more likely to die prematurely than those who do. Being overweight or obese makes the heart work much harder, being linked to coronary heart disease due to its direct impact on cholesterol, as well as being the cause of sleep apnea, which in turn causes cardiomyopathy.
According to data from the Pan American Health Organization, overweight or obesity has tripled from the 1970s to the present, reaching epidemic levels and affecting people of all ages. The region of the Americas has the highest prevalence worldwide, since 62.5% of adults are overweight or obese, as a result of increased energy consumption versus calories expended, constant changes in eating habits, little physical activity and multiple environmental variations and social, combined with the little development in health areas of some countries.
“There is a general lack of ‘awareness’ and information regarding cardiovascular diseases, so we invite the population to be alert, to carry out medical check-ups and to know those numbers that can cause serious health problems. With “Numbers that Matter” we seek to increase efforts to prevent and promote early diagnosis for adequate regular and periodic control of blood pressure, heart rate, blood glucose, cholesterol and a healthy weight, which will help each patient to take conscious decisions and avoid future complications such as heart failure, heart attacks, strokes and chronic kidney disease, among others”, said Dr. Coto.
A part of the tools to provide this support to the population are the risk calculators, which can be accessed for free at the following links https://numerosqueimportan.disfrutomisalud.com/calculadora-cardiaca.html and https:// numbersqueimportan.disfrutomisalud.com/bmi-calculator.html. People will be able to enter their numbers, obtaining an assessment range that can be downloaded and discussed with the treating physician.