Heart Problems Occur at a Younger Age in Turkish Society

Eastern Mediterranean University (EMU) Dr. Faz?l Kucuk Medicine Faculty academician Assist. Prof. Dr. Alper Y?ld?r?m released a statement marking the 29th of September, World Heart Day. Assist. Prof. Dr. Y?ld?r?m noted that high blood pressure, high cholesterol, excess weight and obesity, smoking, inadequate physical activity and type 2 diabetes are amongst the factors that lead to being in the high risk category for heart problems. However, Assist. Prof. Dr. Y?ld?r?m also noted that these risk factors can be removed or kept under control. The statement released is as follows:

In the United States of America one out of every four deaths occur as a result of heart problems. In Europe this rate is 37.9 per cent, with the average heart attack age being between 60 and 65. In Turkey and North Cyprus, the average age is exactly 10 years less. In the list of hospital referrals as a result of a cardiovascular disease, Turkey is positioned very high amongst European Union countries.

Individuals who are under the age of 45 make up a special group of patients when they suffer from a heart attack. This phenomenon is rare and is an important problem in terms of both damage resulting from infarction and psychological and economical effects on the patient and family. Atherosclerosis at a young age happens for mainly the same reasons as it does at an older age. However, hereditary high cholesterol is an important cause that must not be ignored. Despite not knowing the frequency of hereditary high cholesterol, the diagnosis criteria is rapidly becoming clear. Until recently, treatment methods for hereditary high cholesterol were limited. However, many treatment methods are being developed and promising results have been produced. In areas like Turkey, where consanguineous marriage is widespread, hereditary hypercholesterolemia rates are also high.

The fact that cardiovascular diseases affect individuals in Turkey and North Cyprus more than individuals in other European countries can be attributed to the high usage of cigarettes and other forms of tobacco, the young age at which individuals start smoking, rapid weight increases that start at an early age, inactiveness and an unhealthy diet. New research has presented data that suggests the distribution of fat in the body could be determining on an individual’s risk of heart disease. A recent study shows that individuals with a high amount of subcutaneous fat in the stomach region are at greater risk than individuals with a high amount of fat in other regions of the body. In addition, type-2 diabetes is more prominent amongst individuals with this type of subcutaneous fat. To help get this situation under control the United Nations started a project in 2011 titled “25 to 25” which was signed by many countries. The aim of this project is to decrease deaths resulting from cardiovascular problems by 25% until 2025. The countries that signed this agreement, agreed to implement certain health policies in order to decrease the consumption of salt and cigarettes, inactiveness, weight and diabetics. They also agreed to carry out work regarding basic drug requirements and the scope of treatments. In summary, the increase in cardiovascular problems and the increase in cardiovascular risk factors in Turkey and North Cyprus must be combated hand in hand and work to enable the decrease of preventable risk factors must pick up speed.

Source: Eastern Mediterranean University.