Coronary artery disease has some risk factors. Some are modifiable and some are non-modifiable. Common population has a belief that once you are a heart patient, a heart attack can strike at any moment. They also have a notion that even if you are not a heart patient still heart attack may happen suddenly. But this is all due to ignorance.
Almost all the causes of heart attack / heart disease are now known and if not removed – can lead to a heart attack. Most of the risk factors are partly or fully modifiable.
Four risk factors of heart disease are put in the category of non-modifiable risk factors and these are-
It is a common sense that a person aged 60 years will be having more possibility of having heart disease compared to a person of 25 years. The aged people have longer exposure to wrong lifestyle and have got more time to increase the blockage compared to the young group with the same lifestyle. This age factor cannot be modified. In the modern time with the worsening lifestyle, of course we are seeing more and more younger people getting heart attacks. This is basically because of more quantity of modifiable risk factors in their life.
It is also common knowledge that males get more heart attacks compared to the females. The approximate ration in 9:1. In the females, the ovary secretes some hormones from 15 years to 50 years of their life (called child bearing age) – this is the most probable reason for this discrepancy. This factor also cannot be changed.
The third factor is heredity. We cannot change our inherited genes. Because of the genes, which have either come from father or mother, our liver can manufacture more Cholesterol or Triglyceride which, in turn, lead to increased possibilities of heart attacks. Due to heredity there are more chances of Diabetes and High Blood Pressure in family members.
The forth factor is the Ethnicity, your place of origin, your birth religion, your body shape and colour etc. all of these comes under ethnicity which is not in your control.
All of the above risk factors can be partly modified be following better lifestyle (Low fat diet, exercises and yoga, stress management, walking etc.) and plus by use of medicines. So, in this way the effects of heredity, age and male sex can be partly modified with proper knowledge and treatment.
There are two main ways to spread awareness about coronary artery disease
Our medical professionals have the knowledge about it very well and a common person don’t know what is good and what is bad form him / her. It is the primary responsibility of our medical professionals to deliver proper knowledge to heart patients. With proper awareness and knowledge, we can prevent and eliminate most of the heart attack deaths and prolong the life of many heart patients. The Government should also take some initiative to spread heart disease awareness and proper knowledge to the people at mass and help in tackling the menace of heart disease and heart attacks.
Minimum medical education must be started at the school level and a subject called “Health” must be made compulsory in students course in all the schools and this subject must be taught by medical professionals as a part time duty. Appropriate syllabus should be designed for different standards and then only we can improve the health of the nation.
Written by: Dr. Chetan Sharma
EECP Specialist, Heart & Lifestyle Expert
Supported by Mr. Abhijeet Gautam