Thursday, March 21, 2013
Only one in 1,000 'heart healthy'
The American Heart Association recently issued a list of seven steps to follow to minimise the chances of suffering cardiovascular disease. Its "Life's Simple Seven" are: not smoking, being physically active, not being overweight, maintaining healthy cholesterol levels, keeping blood pressure down, regulating blood sugar levels, and eating healthily. But Professor Jean-Pierre Després, scientific director of the International Chair on Cardiometabolic Risk, said the number who met all seven criteria was vanishingly small. He said: "If you look at those simple seven, and you measure what percentage of different populations around the developed world meet those criteria, it's only 0.1 per cent. "In terms of having an optimal risk of cardiovascular disease, only one in 1,000 people is healthy." He continued: "If you only use the traditional risk factors like cholesterol and blood pressure you would probably end up with 15 per cent." But when one included exercise - or the lack of it - and diet, the number who were really healthy was far smaller. "Exercise and nutrition are the two hardest indicators of cardiovascular health to meet,"he said