MANILA – Medical doctors say cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the number one killer both locally and globally.
In the recently concluded Philippine Heart Association (PHA) 47th annual convention, Dr. Don Robespierre Reyes, editor-in-chief of PHA’s journal ‘The Heart’, said CVD is the number one cause of death worldwide.
Dr. Jorge Sison, overall chair of the event supported Reyes’ statement as he revealed that PHA’s data for the past 10 years show that there is an increase in the number of CVD in the Philippines.
“Heart attack and stroke are the number one killer in the country,” Sison added.
Sison told the Philippines News Agency (PNA) that the main challenge for them in PHA is how to reach Filipinos with heart disease.
He said 60-70 percent of Filipinos have not been treated or seen by a cardiologist.
Aside from that, Sison cited that Filipinos also deal with the burden of healthcare cost.
This is why he would like to appeal to the Department of Health (DOH) and PhilHealth to help the indigents with heart disease.
Also, he hopes the incoming administration will extend the government’s support in terms of information dissemination, and extending health coverage or insurance for heart disease.
In a study done by Sison and team, they found out that there’s a need for better control in hypertension rate, and this will be possible through dissemination of latest statistics on hypertension detection, treatment and control.
Avoiding certain types of drinks and salt surfeit
Aside from observing a healthy lifestyle, there are certain types of drinks that people should avoid to save themselves from heart disease.
In an article written by Dr. Ramon Abarquez, National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) academician, he mentioned that one should avoid alcoholic drinks, caffeinated and energy drinks, and salt surfeit.
“Salt can make high blood pressure (BP) much worse although in others, with appropriate renal salt excretion, it may not result in further BP elevation,” said Dr. Abarquez.
He explained that excess salt can retain water and increase volume load to the heart. “Thus, reduced salt or sodium intake is a strongly recommended as part of a healthy diet,” he said.
For coffee lovers, Dr. Abarquez also noted that caffeine in coffee is a stimulant that activates the central nervous system, producing tachycardia, elevating metabolic rate and BP rise on a temporary and long-term basis.
Dr. Abarquez also mentioned that another caffeine issue is arrhythmia.
Even decaffeinated coffee is not totally free of caffeine according to him as he shared the following data:
Energy drinks: 72 to 150 mg per bottle
Coffee: 60 to 150 mg per cup.
Non-Rx pain killer, appetite suppressants, cold-cough remedies: > 65 mg.
Colas: 47 to 64 mg per 12-ounce can
Tea: 40 to 80 mg per cup
Chocolate bars: up to 35 mg per ounce
Cocoa: up to 8 mg per cup
Decaffeinated coffee: up to 7 mg per cup
Meanwhile, according to the American Heart Association, one to two cups of regular coffee is okay, but more than that could be risky, especially among those at risk for heart disease.