Cardiovascular diseases are the global number one cause of death. Every day death in the Netherlands more than a hundred people to these disorders. How can it be good for your heart? Gezondheidsnet asks Janneke Wittekoek, a cardiologist and director of HeartLife.
Why is it important that there is a lot of attention for the heart?
“With the knowledge we now have, we can still achieve much more in the preventive area. With all the years of science, we know that certain risk factors contribute to the dichtzitten of the blood vessel.”
Of these factors, you can according to Wittekoek so identify and treat. “You would much rather the doctor talk to and, in any case, know what your risk factors are. You can than heart disease is going to occur, because that is the only way we’re going to reduce it.”
In addition, we know, of course, many of the heart, fills the cardiologist. “But there are still a lot of things that we do not know, such as, for example, how certain arrhythmias arise. There are certain hartfaalsyndromen that we do not yet understand.”
According to Wittekoek is therefore very important that more scientific research is done and there is money for needed.
Would people their heart periodically need to check?
“I think you are already at a young age risk factors – that can lead to heart problems – periodically to check, identify and treat.”
“It is not an unnecessary luxury to have a good system to do. About at what age that should be, is debatable. I would say around the age of forty. Then it is good to know how your heart health.”
People can have their heart tested in a comprehensive study. Such research consists of an echo and a stress test.
In addition, people may have their own risk factors to enumerate. Wittekoek says that it is important that you have your numbers know: “Make sure you know what your blood pressure, your cholesterol and your suikerwaarden. Watch your weight, eat healthy and move a lot. You’ll be fine.”
Leefstijlgeneeskunde: Fight the problems, not the symptoms
When is a heart healthy?
“It is important to be aware of your heart health: not smoking, BMI under 25, blood pressure 120/80, blood sugar under 5 and the 5-3-1 rule for cholesterol.”
“The 5-3-1 rule for cholesterol works as follows: if your cholesterol measures in the blood, then you often get three values. A totaalcholesterol, an LDL – the ‘bad’ cholesterol and HDL, the good cholesterol. The ratio in which the totaalcholesterol under 5’s, the bad cholesterol below 3 and good cholesterol above 1 is good. The numbers you should have a little hold.”
Figures heart disease in the Netherlands
- 1.4 million people with heart disease
- 106 people die every day of heart – or vascular disease
- More women than men suffering from the diseases
- Every year, 750 people are admitted to hospital due to a heart or vascular disease
Source: Heart Foundation
And how to keep people’s hearts healthy?
“Love the mediterranean diet and eat lots of vegetables and fruit, good fats, nuts and legumes. Anything that swims, flies and runs is generally lean meat and fits in with a conscious diet.”
In addition, it advises the cardiologist to daily thirty minutes to move around and preferably three times per week at a moderately intense workout, like strength training to do.
Awareness plays an important role in the timely recognition of the symptoms of heart disease. What signs should people look for?
“Chest pain, extreme fatigue, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, tendency to faint, to fall, and flu-like symptoms, especially in women.”
When should people call it?
“Of course, you need to call draw in the above complaints, but it is actually much more important to the risk factors to keep an eye on.”
In that way, prevent people problems later in life, says abena joan. “If you have complaints, then you are already half on the way. The underlying process of a myocardial infarction, arteriosclerosis, after all, is a silent disease. You will not be complaints if the blood vessels already affected.”
Janneke Wittekoek is a director and cardiologist at HeartLife. Heartlife is a centre of excellence for heart and health. Her goal is to mortality in women and men to reduce, as a result of (misunderstood) heart problems.