Heart diseases, one of the most important causes of loss of life in the modern world, continue to draw attention. Reminding that the World Health Organization (WHO) has set 2025 targets for the world in order to increase public awareness on the subject and reduce the figures, Cardiology Specialist Dr. Çiğdem Koca said that with these goals, it is foreseen to reduce the loss of life due to heart diseases by at least 25 percent.
Many institutions around the world continue their efforts to reduce the loss of life related to heart diseases and to raise awareness. Yeditepe University Hospitals Cardiology Specialist Dr. Çiğdem Koca explained the 7-step rule to prevent heart diseases, recommended by the American Society of Cardiology, one of the most important.
MAINTAIN YOUR OPTIMAL WEIGHT, MOVE
Stating that maintaining the ideal weight, especially in the young age group, is a factor that reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases, Uzm. Dr. Çiğdem Koca said that the first thing to do for this is to act. Saying that by leaving a sedentary lifestyle, 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-weight or 75-150 minutes of intense exercise programs a week are recommended. Koca said, “As we all know, obesity has been an important problem for developed and developing countries, especially in recent years. The increased incidence in young age groups and children also poses a risk for many diseases. In addition, maintaining the optimal weight of individuals will help reduce the risks that may develop in this sense. Cardiovascular diseases are one of the most important of these diseases," he said.
TRACK YOUR CHOLESTEROL AND BLOOD PRESSURE
Saying that individuals should also be aware of high cholesterol and high blood pressure (hypertension), Uzm. Dr. Çiğdem Koca said, “We know from many studies conducted in Turkey and around the world that public awareness of blood pressure and cholesterol is quite low. In fact, both are problems that need to be followed up and treated appropriately in terms of both heart diseases and other possible negative effects. Therefore, it is beneficial for everyone to have their cholesterol and blood pressure values checked regularly, whether they have a cardiovascular risk or not.”
Explaining that everyone should have their cholesterol values checked once, especially after the age of 20, a precaution should be taken according to the necessary situation and the treatment should continue in this way. Dr. Çiğdem Koca continued her words as follows:
“Raising cholesterol awareness and taking necessary health precautions and changing lifestyle are very important in reducing the risk of cardiovascular health. Not only can we reduce this risk, but we can also ensure that possible cardiovascular system diseases are treatable and controllable with certain interventions, regardless of death or serious injury. Therefore, it is possible to reduce our risk of cardiovascular disease.”
STOP SMOKING FROM YOUR LIFE
Reminding that smoking is a very serious cause of death in the world and approximately 9 million people lost their lives due to smoking and smoking-related reasons, Dr. Dr. Çiğdem Koca said, “Moreover, 1,2 million of these people are affected by exposure to passive smoking. In addition, the gradual increase in smoking among young people and women has also caused a change in the profile of heart disease in societies. Today, heart diseases are much more common in both women and young people. Therefore, smoking is one of the 7 rules that can be corrected," he said.
FEED A FRIEND WITH YOUR HEART
Stating that the content of what we eat and following a healthy diet are among the most talked about factors in reducing the risk of heart diseases, Uzm. Dr. Çiğdem Koca continued her words as follows: “There are certain rules regarding these. For example, a Mediterranean diet would be a heart-friendly choice. However, in general, it is necessary to stay away from processed products such as salami and sausage, and to prefer less fatty products in animal food consumption. Compliance with rules such as reducing carbohydrate and sugar consumption, consuming fish 2 days or more a week, giving more space to green leafy vegetables, and taking care to eat fibrous products are among the factors that reduce the risk of heart diseases.
KEEP BLOOD SUGAR UNDER CONTROL
Yeditepe University Kozyatağı Hospital Cardiology Specialist Dr. Yeditepe University Kozyatağı Hospital said that diabetes mellitus, which paves the way for cardiovascular diseases and may occur as a result of an unhealthy lifestyle, should be noted. Çiğdem Koca said: “Our genetic predisposition affects the emergence and control of diabetes along with environmental factors. Even if there is no diabetes in our family, there are situations that can make us a candidate for diabetes, such as being overweight and insulin resistance. Irregular diet containing carbohydrates and junk food, increased consumption of carbonated drinks and lack of exercise are among the factors that increase the risk. It is possible to return from the beginning of the road leading to diabetes and cardiovascular diseases by adopting a healthy lifestyle. Especially if there is diabetes in our family, it is necessary both to have a healthy lifestyle and to consult specialists for controls in order to control our risk. Even if we have a diagnosed diabetes mellitus, it is very important to strictly comply with the recommendations and treatments of our doctors regarding nutrition and movement in order to keep it under control.
Increasing awareness of diabetes and good regulation of sugar is a factor that can have very positive effects on our risk factors.