CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH

Cardiovascular health is at the core of wellness. According to the European Society of Cardiology, there are 11 million new cases of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) in Europe every year. In the European Union, some 49 million people live with CVD, with the cost estimated at € 210 billion per year.

Cardiovascular disease is a group of diseases of the heart and blood vessels, including coronary heart disease, stroke, heart failure, heart arrhythmias, and heart valve problems.  

As with many elements of wellness, we often learn to ignore the costs of healthy living. Many cases of CVD can be avoided through healthy living and diet.

According to the European Society of Cardiology:

  • 15% of CVD deaths in Europe are due to high blood sugar.
     

  • Smoking remains a key public health issue in Europe. Women are now smoking nearly as much as men in several Northern and Western European countries and girls often smoke more than boys.
     

  • Few adults in European countries participate in adequate levels of physical activity, with inactivity more common among women than men.
     

  • Levels of obesity are high across Europe and in the EU in both adults and children, although rates vary substantially between countries.
     

  • The prevalence of diabetes in Europe is high and has increased rapidly over the last ten years, growing by more than 50% in many countries.
     

  • Cholesterol, particularly LDL cholesterol, is a major determinant of CVD risk which increases linearly as blood concentrations increase.
     

 

Looking at these findings, it is easy to understand how vital it is to lead a healthy lifestyle. This is a lifestyle that is within the reach of everyone, and is based on a few simple rules:

  • Exercise daily, even just by walking for 20-30 minutes per day;
     

  • Avoid high-salt and high-sugar foods;
     

  • Eat fresh fruits and vegetables whenever you can;
     

  • Drink water;
     

  • Avoid stress and anxiety;
     

  • Reduce your weight where possible or necessary;
     

  • Sleep regularly, for at least 7 hours per night;
     

  • Check your blood pressure and heart rate regularly;

  • Take medication if needed;
     

  • Consider food supplements and vitamins as a means of restoring balance to your diet.

You can’t change the factors such as age, gender, family history. But risk factors such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure or physical inactivity can be reduced through lifestyle.

Act today.

Sources

Healthline. Everything You Need to Know About Heart Disease

Jean Hailes for Women’s Health. Cardiovascular Health

European Society for Cardiology. About Cardiovascular Disease in ESC Member Countries.

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