Poor Dietary Habits are the Biggest Cause of Cardiovascular Deaths Worldwide

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Dietary habits play a big part in determining the health of a person. Those with underlying medical conditions especially heart diseases are expected to take care of their diet more than other people. According to a new study published in the journal European Heart Journal—Quality of Care and Clinical Outcomes, a poor diet is one of the biggest causes of cardiovascular deaths.

These study findings are released on World Food Day, implying the significance of a good, healthy diet.

Dr. Xinyao Liu from Central South University is the first author of this study. According to Dr. Liu, an unhealthy diet is the biggest reason for hypertension, high cholesterol, and diabetes which leads to cardiovascular disease and early death.  Most of these deaths are caused by angina attack and heart attacks which represent a heart condition called ischaemic heart disease.

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Nearly 6 million people lose their lives to cardiovascular complications or deaths and most of them use processed foods made in saturated fat sources and high in salt, sugar, and spices. Their intake of fresh food sources, meat, and dairy are limited.

The health experts suggest every adult human take 200 grams of omega 3 fatty acids preferably obtained from seafood daily. In addition to that, everyone should take at least 200 grams of fresh fruit and at least 290 grams of veggies daily. The nut consumption should be up to 25g per day and whole grains should be taken at least 100 grams daily.

The data for this study was obtained from a previous study named Global Burden of Disease Study from the year 2017. It was an international study that was conducted in nearly 195 countries in the world during the years 1990 to 2017.

By the end of 2017, nearly 126.5 million people were suffering from ischaemic heart disease. And there were at least 10.6 million new cases of it.

In 2017, the ischaemic heart disease alone was behind the death of nearly 8.9 million people which makes almost 16% of the total deaths reported. This number is much more than 12.6% of deaths which were reported at the start of this study, in 1990.

So what has happened in all these years which has caused an increase in these cardiovascular deaths? According to this study, it is the changed food habits that have continues to decline from 1990 to 2017.

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The developed countries tried to improve the disease management and survival rates of these heart patients yet the number of deaths increased every year mainly because of the total population increase and aging.

This study identified 11 different risk factors which can increase the deaths by ischaemic heart disease and poor diet was top of them. Other factors included LDL levels, smoking, high blood sugar, BMI, inactive lifestyle, kidney problems, air pollution, alcohol abuse, lead exposure, and high serum levels.

Clearly, the risk of cardiovascular can be reduced by controlling these risk factors. Ischaemic heart disease can be prevented by paying attention to dietary and lifestyle habits. The first thing that can add years to a heart patient’s life is to improve his activity level and food preferences. Some customized strategies considering the underlying factors can also help to reduce the risk. Patients should discuss this with their doctor in detail and consult a nutritionist if required. The only way to control deaths by heart diseases is by taking all of these things together.

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