Globally, heart disease is among the deadliest causes of threat to life, but studies show that we should not simply accept this threat as inevitable.
According to recent research published in the journals of the European Society of Cardiology and the European Heart Journal – Quality of Care and Clinical Outcomes (ESC), more than two-thirds of heart disease deaths could be prevented globally if people changed their diets to be healthier. Coincidentally, these findings were released on World Food Day to help highlight the importance of healthy meals that are accessible to all and sustainable.
“Our analysis shows that unhealthy diets, high blood pressure and high cholesterol are the three main contributors to deaths from heart attacks and angina pectoris – collectively referred to as ischemic heart disease,” the author said. study, Dr Xinyao Liu of Central South University, Changsha, China, adding: “This was consistent across both developed and developing countries.”
“More than six million deaths could be prevented by reducing the consumption of processed foods, sugary drinks, trans and saturated fats, added salt and sugar, while increasing the consumption of fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains. Ideally, we should be consuming 200-300 mg of omega-3 fatty acids from seafood every day. In addition to that, every day we should be aiming for 200-300 grams of fruit, 290-430 grams of vegetables, 16 to 25 grams of nuts and 100 to 150 grams of whole grains,” she added.
The research team analyzed data from Global Burden of Disease Study 2017 which was conducted between 1990 and 2017 in 195 countries to reveal that there were 126.5 million people living with ischemic heart disease as well as 10.6 million newly diagnosed with the condition causing 8.9 million deaths in 2017 , and this represents 16% of all deaths compared to 12.6% in 1990.
During this period, the age-standardized prevalence rate per 100,000 people decreased by 11.8%, the incidence rate decreased by 27.4%, and the mortality rates decreased by 30%, however, the absolute numbers also doubled according to the researchers.
Dr Liu said: “Although progress has been made in preventing heart disease and improving survival, especially in developed countries, the number of people affected continues to increase due to the growing and of the aging of the population.
The research team also calculated the impact of 11 risk factors on death from ischemic heart disease, specifically estimating the proportion of deaths that could be stopped by eliminating this risk factor. These risk factors were: smoking, alcohol consumption, impaired kidney function, high BMI, low physical activity, exposure to lead, high serum LDL cholesterol, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, air pollution, and diet. eating.
According to the researchersassuming all other risk factors remain unchanged, 69.2% of global deaths from ischemic heart disease could be avoided if people adopted healthier diets, 54.4% of deaths could be avoided if systolic blood pressure was maintained at 110-115 mmHg, 41.9% of deaths could be stopped if serum LDL was maintained at 0.7-1.3 mmol/L, 25.5% could be prevented if fasting plasma glucose was maintained at 4.8-5.4 mmol/L, 20.65% of deaths from ischemic heart disease could be prevented if smoking and second-hand smoke were eradicated.
Smoking was noted to be the 4th largest contributor to these deaths among men, but only ranked 7th among women. During this period, global smoking prevalence declined by 28.4% among men and 34.4% among women. Having a high BMI was ranked 5th in deaths from ischemic heart disease in women and 6th in men, and 18.3% of these deaths could be avoided if the BMI was kept at 20-25 kg/m2. Additionally, for both sexes, the percentage contributions of lead exposure and air pollution to age-standardized heart disease deaths increased as the country of residence became less developed.
“Ischemic heart disease is largely preventable through healthy behaviors and individuals should take the initiative to improve their habits. Also, strategies tailored to geography are needed – for example, programs to reduce salt intake may have the greatest benefit in regions with high consumption (e.g. China or Central Asia) said Dr. Liu.
This study supports and complements a large body of evidence suggesting that simple lifestyle changes can help prevent deaths, particularly by developing healthier eating habits. Food as medicine, what an interesting concept…
As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice. please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine. This article is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, recommendation, treatment, or endorsement.