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Health and Wellness

Debunking myths about CVD

Even with the plethora of information available today and the ease of accessing it, many people either do not know much about cardiovascular disease, or have all sorts of inaccurate ideas about it. Here are a few common myths surrounding CVD and its risk factors that we’ve debunked:

Myth: high blood pressure has clear signs and symptoms

Fact : hypertension is actually called ‘the silent killer’ because it has no early symptoms. And, it is the most important risk factor leading to death from cardiovascular disease in industrialized countries

Myth: only old people are at risk of getting a stroke

Fact : especially in the Gulf region, the incidence of stroke in people younger than 45 years old is actually relatively high

Myth: smoking only a limited number of cigarettes a day will not increase my risk of CVD

Fact : in the presence of other risk factors, smokers still have a 50% higher risk of getting and dying from heart disease even with less than 15 cigarettes a day

Myth: if I have family history of heart disease there is nothing I can do about my risk of getting it

Fact : even with a family history of heart disease, many risk factors such as obesity and hypertension can and should be controlled

Myth: I will recognize a heart attack or stroke as soon as it happens getting it

Fact : less than 60% of people know what the symptoms of a heart attack or stroke actually are. And even with that knowledge, many times these conditions occur with only mild symptoms that can easily be missed – especially in old and diabetic patients. Being uninformed – or misinformed – can be catastrophic, while knowing the simple facts can keep you and your friends and family safe.



References

Sawicka, K., Szczyrek, M., Jastrzębska, I., Prasał, M., Zwolak, A. and Daniluk, J., (2011). Hypertension – the silent killer. Journal of Pre-Clinical and Clinical Research, Vol 5(2), 43-46 Shields, M and Wilkins, K., (2013). Smoking, smoking cessation and heart disease risk: A 16- year follow-up study. Component of Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 82-003-X Health Reports Aljefree, N. and Ahmed, F., (2015). Prevalence of Cardiovascular Disease and Associated Risk Factors among Adult Population in the Gulf Region: A Systematic Review. Hindawi Publishing Corporation, Advances in Public Health. Volume 2015, Article ID 235101, 23 pages Berman, M., Mark Jones, M. and De Coster, D. (2017). ‘Just like normal pain’, what do people with diabetes mellitus experience when having a myocardial infarction: a qualitative study recruited from UK hospitals. BMJ Open 2017;7:e015736. doi:10.1136/ bmjopen-2016-015736 Quah et al, 2014. Knowledge of signs and symptoms of heart attack and stroke among Singapore residents. BioMed Research International, Volume 2014, Article ID 572425, 8 pages, http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/572425

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