Heart disease and stroke are the world’s leading causes of death and claims 17.3 million lives annually. In fact, this number is expected to increase to 23.6 million by the year 2030.

As a result, in the year 2000, the World Heart Federation (WHF) established the world heart day, which is geared at informing individuals around the globe about cardiovascular disease and the risks associated with not practicing a heart healthy diet.

This World Heart Day 2014, the focus is on creating heart-healthy environments by watching what we eat and engaging in regular exercise. As a heart-healthy diet can reduce the risk of heart disease or stroke by up to 80%. Nutritionists stress the importance of eating healthy as food choices each day will affect your overall health tomorrow. Combined with physical activity, a healthy diet can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer, and promote good health.  Healthy eating includes consuming high-quality proteins, carbohydrates, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and water. Consumption of processed foods and foods saturated in fats and alcohol should be avoided or reduced. Experts recommend that you exercise at least twice per week for a minimum of 30 minutes per session to burn excess fat from the body.

Most cardiovascular diseases are caused by risk factors that can be controlled or treated. These risk factors include high blood pressure, cholesterol, obesity, tobacco use, lack of physical exercise and diabetes. Bear in mind, that there are also some major risk factors that cannot be controlled.

These factors include, family history, ethnicity or race, age, and having a prior history of cardiovascular disease or cardiovascular events such as stroke or heart attack. As with all diseases, early detection is key as this allows treatment during the early stages. Regular routine cardiovascular screening tests should begin by age 20 and the frequency of follow-up will depend on your level of risk.

Hargreaves Memorial Hospital offers a wide variety of cardiology services available on an outpatient and inpatient basis. From minimally invasive cardiac procedures to diagnostic testing, our physicians and clinical staff provide patients with accurate and timely results using the latest in state-of-the-art technologies.

A signal-averaged ECG is a quick, noninvasive method of assessing the heart’s function. Risks associated with ECG are minimal and rare. An ECG (Electrocardiogram) measures the electrical activity of the heart and gives important information about the rate and regularity of beats, the size and position of the chambers and any damage to the heart. ECGs can be carried out while resting or while exercising, depending upon the result required. An exercise ECG can be extremely valuable in diagnosing underlying coronary disease. It is also an assessment of exercise capability. It is a treadmill activity where the exercise load on the heart is increased to assess if sufficient oxygen is reaching the heart muscle.

Cardiology Services Available:

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • Echocardiogram
  • Stress Echocardiogram
  • 24 hour Holter Monitor
  • Treadmill ECG (Stress ECG)
  • Echo Bubble Study
  • 24 hour Ambulatory BP

Heart disease may be the leading cause of death worldwide, but you can protect yourself with regular exercise, routine testing and by making healthy food choices. Health is not only dependent on exercise and how you eat but it is also dependent on the environment in which you live. Research conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) states that certain diseases are a result of environmental factors such as unsafe drinking-water, poor sanitation, and indoor and outdoor air pollution.

The research goes on further to state that an estimated 23% of all deaths worldwide can be attributed to environmental factors.  Relocation is best suited to avoid environmental factors that lead to disease.  If relocation isn’t possible, it’s recommended that in cases where potable water is unavailable that you treat the water prior to consumption or before using it to prepare any meals.

Keep windows closed if where you live is prone to air pollution or you could also invest in air filters as a long term solution. With so many factors that can contribute to ill health each person is responsible for their own well-being. Take a closer look at the factors that could affect your health and adjust them as your health is your responsibility.