Health in a general definition is the normal functioning of the body and the brain for a long time without having any illness, pain or any disability. In order to be healthy, besides the genetic characteristics, are important nutrition and physical, social and economic conditions. The aging of community, industrialization and rapid civilization in the last 20 years has brought rapid change in people's lives and also heart diseases, moreover atherosclerotic (associated with stiffening of the artery), coronary arteries, heart ailment and disease of other veins. According to World Health Organization data of 2008, nearly 18 million people have died from atherosclerotic heart and vein diseases. This number in 2030 could reach 23.6 million. Similarly in our country heart and vein diseases are the most prevalent diseases.
Heart diseases can be divided into the following groups: cognitive heart disease, rhythm disorders, rheumatismal heart disease, damage of heart valve, heart muscle disease, heart failure and atherosclerotic heart and vein diseases. A person with symptoms such as strong stroke, difficulty in breathing, rapid fatigue, chest pain, persistent cough, swelling of the feet, fainting or bruise of the lips and fingers may have heart disease. If anyone has one or more of these symptoms, they should immediately consult with a cardiologist.
In Turkey there are many successful and modern centers and treatment for heart disease. Heart diseases have a wide range of treatments ranging from treatment with medication, coronarography, bypass, battery placement, and many other heart surgery operations that are realised successfully. Many heart diseases can be prevented with doctor's protective applications . For this, by preventing some economic and social activities, it is possible to live with quality and without loosing energy.
The application of the doctor's protection is very helpful because by reducing the factors that cause heart diseases, the possibility of blood clots or heart attacks decreases. According to a study, the factors that endanger coronary artery disease are as follows:
· Family or relatives up to the first rank, with coronary heart disease at a young age.
· Damage of lipid metabolism
· Lack of physical activity
· Use of cigarettes
· Older age
· Psychological factors
Taking into consideration these factors and taking action against them alone or in a group, heart diseases can be reduced. Every year, on April 12-18, various activities are organized to serve this purpose and make people aware of the need to protect ourselves from heart diseases.
Good nutrition and giving up of harmful vices, for which various trainings are organized, also improvement of environmental conditions by reducing air pollution, and increasing physical activity, which together with measures taken against harmful vices, reduce the factors that affec coronary heart disease.
The measures to be taken individually are: blood pressure, sugar level and lipid metabolism should be kept normal, weight control, physical activity and quiting smoking.
For this purpose, the first step to be taken is to nourish healthily. In this regard there have been various suggestions from the scientific associations and we have gathered them as follows:
· The total daily calorie to be taken should be in porportion to the weight. The total daily calorie needed should be approximately 25-30% from the oils, 55-60% from carbohydrates and 10-15% from proteins.
· Use of saturated fats should be reduced, processed fats should be used as little as possible.
· The consumption of fruits and vegetables should be increased as much as possible. Beans and strawberries, cereals and grains must be consumed to the right extent.
· Processed products with added sugar should be reduced, the body's water balance must be maintained.
· Caution should be put to foods that contain fiber, the use of salt in the daily diet should be approximately 5-6 grams.
· Red meat should be used with moderation, especially meats that are processed and fat should be removed. Chicken meat and rooster should be consumed without skin, while fish consumption should be increased.
To protect heart health, it is suggested doing 2.5 to 3 hours of physical activity per week. One physical activity that can be done by everyone and that is most convenient is walking 4 or 5 times a week for 30-45 minutes. Those who suffer from the wrists and have trouble walking, instead of 45 minutes of walking, can share it in 3 times with 15 minutes. Regular physical activity, in addition to protecting heart health, also helps on weight control, type 2 diabetes, bone relaxing, prevents diseases and reduces cancer risk. If physical activity increases even more, patients suffering from high blood pressure, can control blood pressure and lower cholesterol in patients suffering from lipid metabolism disorders. Undoubtedly, the best solution for the type of physical activity should be determined according to the person's weight and actual illness that may have. You can get your doctor's opinion on this topic.
People who smoke should try every way to quit it. The most important factor to quit smoking is to compare the damage that cigarettes does with the benefits it will have after quitting. The risk of cardiac vein diseases decreases years after quitting cigarettes. Those who quit before the average age can reach the level of those who did not smoke cigarettes at all. As in any other country, even in our country, ave been added programs to quit smoking. Recent measures have been taken to prevent tobacco products, such as stopping them in closed environments, etc. For this, those who do not smoke do not have to smoke the smoke of others in closed environments.
Nowadays, the biggest problem we face in our daily life is stress. Stress can be defined as a state of difficulty and boredom of feelings that is created by the comparisons of the events we live and the oppression of relationships between us. Stress increases the risk of coronary artery disease in different ways. For this reason, social programs that are aimed at reducing and eliminating stress should not be neglected.
High blood pressure and hypertension are the most important factors to be prevented. As in all of Europe, even in our country, this disease is at 30% of adults. When a person notices high blood pressure or hypertension, the best thing to do is check-up at a doctor. If different medicines are used without consulting the doctor, this may delay the diagnosis and treatment of the disease. The measurement of blood pressure is recommended to be done once in 3 or 6 months at normal persons because it is a way of early diagnostification. As we said earlier in order to keep normal blood pressure, it is enough to be careful with nutrition, to beware of excess weight and to not use medication that increases blood pressure. If these measures are not sufficient then the patient should check at his doctor and receive the appropriate medication. After the start of the treatment, tracking whether the drug is effective or not is definitely important to this process.
Another important topic that needs carefull attention is that people over the age of 40, need every 3-5 months a cholesterol and triglyceride control. These measurements should be made in qualified laboratories and by specialized staff. 6 weeks before making this tests, the person should not change the diet or the usual exercises. The results should be evaluated by the doctor who knows the patient's history and has followed him/her continuously. Thus, the risk of coronary artery disease is reduced automatically.
Finally, the applications of the doctor on such issues are some applications that reduce the number of patients with coronary heart and vein disease and are constantly trying to increase the quality of life and prolong it.
Prof. Dr. Remzi Karaoguz
Koc University Hospital
Department of Cardiology