Monday, September 22, 2008

World Heart Day - Sunday 28th September 08 Know Your Risk!

“A 3 gram reduction in a person's dietary intake of salt would result in over a 20% drop in deaths from stroke and over a 15% fall in deaths from heart disease As heart disease and stroke are the world's number one killer, causing 17.5 million deaths every year, eating half a teaspoon less of salt each day could save millions of lives. High blood pressure or hypertension is the biggest single risk factor for heart disease and stroke and currently affects more than a billion people worldwide. However by the year 2025 it is estimated more than 1.5 billion people, or nearly one in three adults over the age of 25, will have high blood pressure. This is why this year's World Heart Day taking place on Sunday 28th September is urging people to take action and visit their health-care professional to ‘Know Your Risk!’ ‘I know my heart is the strongest, most important muscle in my body and a winning performance depends on its vitality,’ said Stefano Baldini, Olympic marathon gold medal winner. Having a healthy diet will help keep my heart young and my career long.’ There are several factors, which increase the risk of developing high blood pressure, including the excessive consumption of salt. ‘However, by adopting lifestyle changes hypertension is controllable,’ says Professor Shahryar Sheikh, President of the World Heart Federation. Risk factors for heart disease and stroke include high blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels, smoking, inadequate intake of fruit and vegetables, overweight, obesity and physical inactivity. Taken together, these major risk factors account for around 80% of deaths from heart disease and stroke. Not enough of us are aware whether our own lifestyle and heritage could be contributing to our risk of developing heart disease and stroke. It is never too early and never too late to start taking care of your heart,’ says Professor Sheikh.”

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