February - March 2005
Heart Attack! Are you at risk?
has been written on prevention of a heart attack for the lay public
and I am not saying anything different. I am simply attempting to put
all the recent evidence in a simpler form for the readers of India
Link. I hope that some of you will benefit from the prevention strategy
People at risk from a heart attack are:
Smokers: Smoking damages the inner lining of the blood vessels,
thus increasing the chances of a clot formation.
Hypertensive Patients (High BP): Around 30%
of people have high blood pressure without knowing
it! 27% of the population suffers from hypertension.
People with high blood Cholesterol: Cholesterol
is an essential constituent of our bloodstream but
an excess of it helps the formation of a clot within
our blood vessels.
Diabetics: Diabetics are more at risk from
a heart attack
Obese (overweight) people
Stress (or your reaction to stress): It is
not uncommon to suffer a heart attack a day or
two after a stressful event in the office or at
Family History of heart attack
How can you prevent a heart attack? (You cannot do much about being an
Asian male and having a family history of heart disease!)
Take gentle exercises regularly
Avoid stress and relax in between hard work
Eat sensibly (include five portions of fruits a
Know your safe limit for alcohol consumption. Excess
alcohol weakens the heart muscles.
What is advised by doctors for prevention of a heart attack:
A for Aspirin (Take a soluble mini aspirin every day unless you
are intolerant or allergic to aspirin, or you have a stomach ulcer)
B for Blood pressure control (Keep your blood
pressure under control. Request a BP check appointment
with the practice where you are registered)
C for Cholesterol control (Below 4.5 is preferable,
but the lower the better. Request, not demand, a
blood test from your practice)
D for Diabetes (Do your best to avoid diabetes.
Request a regular blood test to know your blood glucose
level, which should be between 4.5 to 5.5)
In the next issues I shall attempt to simplify causes and treatment of
high blood pressure and high cholesterol amongst Asians.
Dinesh Kapoor is the senior Admin. Partner in a 4-GP practice in
Leyton, London. He is also a GP Trainer and is an Executive Committee
member and clinical lead for Coronary Heart Disease for Waltham Forest
Primary Care Trust since 2001.
becoming a GP in February 1982, he has held numerous executive positions
in the Local Medical Committee and in the Health Authority. He was
also the President Of Indian Medical Association (GB) from 2001-2003.
More articles by Dr Dinesh Kapoor
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