AsianScientist (Oct. 21, 2016) – Myanmar’s leading heart doctors have warned against unhealthy lifestyles as nearly one in three citizens are reported to have hypertension, and half have high cholesterol. The call was made at the ASEAN Federation of Cardiology Congress 2016 (AFCC 2016), held in the nation’s capital of Yangon from October 14-16, 2016.
Hypertension affects 25–30 percent of people over the age of 40 in Myanmar. Half of adults have high cholesterol, 12 percent have diabetes, and 15 percent are smokers. Risk factors are higher among patients with hypertension, of whom 30 percent have diabetes and 60 percent have high cholesterol.
“Poor lifestyle choices are unfortunately becoming the norm in Myanmar,” said Dr. Nwe Nwe, scientific chair of AFCC 2016 and head of cardiology at Yangon General Hospital. “The result is that more people have coronary artery disease, stroke and renal failure than ever before.”
Consumption of salt is high in Myanmar, with people preferring to eat preserved food with a high salt content, Nwe went on to add. Furthermore, people do not exercise regularly, and the intake of fruits and vegetables is low despite ready availability in Myanmar.
“On top of that, many patients do not take their hypertensive medication or keep their diabetes under control by keeping an eye on blood sugar levels,” she said.
Professor Michel Komajda, a past president of the ESC and course director of the ESC program in Myanmar, noted that cardiovascular disease is the world’s number one killer, and many deaths could be prevented with healthy lifestyles and adherence to medical treatment.
Indeed, Komajda said, the best way to stop heart disease is to quit smoking, carry out regular physical activity, eat healthy food, and take prescribed medications to control blood pressure and cholesterol.
The article can be found at: Piepoli et al. (2016) 2016 European Guidelines on Cardiovascular Disease Prevention in Clinical Practice.
Source: European Society of Cardiology; Photo: Shutterstock.
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