Most people are aware that obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and smoking can increase the chance of suffering a heart attack.
But recent research is showing that despite a better understanding of these risks, more people are suffering from heart attacks at a younger age because of them.
Making health a priority
Samir Kapadia, M.D., of Cleveland Clinic, said the study shows that although people are more aware of the health risks associated with cardiovascular disease, they still aren’t making their health a priority.
“There is a group of patients who are unable to change their lifestyle and decrease their risk for heart attack and we have some work ahead of us to make this happen.” said Dr. Kapadia.
In the study, Cleveland Clinic researchers studied patients over a span of 20 years in five-year increments, hoping to find that as knowledge of risks increased, patients would begin making appropriate changes in their lifestyle to help curb these risks.
Surprisingly, they found the opposite to be true.
According to Dr. Kapadia, one of the biggest barriers keeping patients from making lifestyle changes is the thought of making their health a priority over other aspects of their lives.
He said it’s important for both doctors and family members to help them understand that being healthy makes it easier for them to accomplish what they want to in life.
Dr. Kapadia also stressed the importance of providing support early on.
“For the primary care physicians, when they see the patients who are obese, with diabetes, it is very critical to provide them with appropriate channel to have nutritional support and preventive cardiology,” said Dr. Kapadia. “This is the right time – before they get their first heart attack.”
Dr. Kapadia said that preventive cardiology is an essential tool for folks who don’t know exactly how to go about making the necessary changes to prevent heart attacks.