People were invited to a practical session at the Cardiology Department on Sunday, wherein the annual conference of the Maltese heart society took place. The conference focused on providing patients in the unit and public on how to avoid cholesterol which poses risks for strokes and heart attacks. ‘It is becoming clear that one out of every five deaths in our country is the result of the wrong foods that we eat’ cardiologist Robert Xuereb told Television Malta. He suggested taxes on unhealthy foods, which could mimic the decrease in smoking every time a tax on cigarettes is imposed.
With this tax money, healthier foods could be subsidised. The measures could seem aggressive at first, but it could be one of the few ways we could avoid such deaths. Cardiologist and cardio rehabilitation specialist Mark Abela said that the most basic way to avoid heart attacks is to engage in physical exercise. In Malta, between 700 and 800 people are admitted to hospital with heart problems, with heart disease remaining the most common form of illness. This is due to the narrowing of arteries due to cholesterol.
Abela emphasised that people should do a check up every 6 – 12 months with a family doctor for such illnesses. WHO statistics show that one out of every four adults globally do not engage in exercise, meaning that around 1.5 billion people are at risk of developing the conditions linked to lack of activity. Mr Xuereb also recommends starting cholesterol tests from the age of 18, due to Malta having the highest rate of obesity in children.
Photo Source: Parkview Health, TCTMD