Dr. Christopher Quirk

BA Oxon, MA, MBBS Hons, MRCP, FRACP, DDU

Prevention PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 21 November 2009 03:55

Having spent over 20 years involved in diagnosis, detection and management of heart disease, it is increasingly apparent that prevention still doesn’t appear to be the number 1 priority for most of us. Despite enormous advances in management of cardiac risks, it still remains neglected- NO, not so much by the medical profession, but mostly by the general public and patients....!  

This section is designed to help understand the most important ways to prevent or reduce your risk of heart disease.

 

 

‘…the future of your heart is in your own hands’

 

To use an analogy, as humans we are not too different to a motor car: Most of us have a motor car and we all have a heart. Unfortunately, this is where the similarity stops!

1. We usually get our car serviced and checked every six months, change the oil, analyse any ‘symptoms’ and do a preventative service. We rarely do routine checks on our hearts.

2. With our car most people will rush to the mechanic if the oil pressure enters the “red zone” and accept that running at a high pressure will reduce the life expectancy of the engine. We tend to ignore our own bodies (blood) pressure gauge, sometimes despite being told it is in the “red zone”.

3. We pick and choose the oils and fuels we put in our cars. We are mostly unconcerned about the quality of “oil” we put into our bodies

4. Old cars need to be used. If left idle for even a short period, they may not start and parts may seize up, we need to get them out for a run from time to time. Most of us rarely take our bodies and heart for a run.

5. Despite this, we know if the car breaks down we can simply replace it.         

          With our heart……….

 

Below is a list in approximate order of importance the factors to reduce your risk of heart disease:

1. Choose Different parents

2. Exercise

3. Exercise

4. Exercise

5. Cease Smoking

6. Lower Blood Pressure

7. Lower Cholesterol Levels

8. Manage Diabetes

9. Reduce weight/ Body fat/ Abdominal Girth

10. Diet

By addressing the modifiable factors above we can significantly reduce our likelyhood of developing heart disease. Of course exercise alone will have the biggest impact not only on our risk of heart disease but also on blood pressure, chlolesterol levels, diabetes, weight and body fat- it would seem the obvious choice!!?

Last Updated on Thursday, 10 December 2009 09:46
 
 
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