The World Health Organization (WHO) of the United Nations recently reported that fewer people worldwide now die of infectious diseases and more of chronic conditions such as heart disease and stroke.
The annual report, containing data collected from 193 WHO member states present measures on health indicators, including mortality levels, availability of health care workers and the prevalence of risk factors such as smoking and alcohol consumption.
While there is a general tendency to associate developing countries with the incidence of infectious diseases such as diarrhea, HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, an increasing number of countries report non-communicable diseases such as heart ailments and stroke as the chief causes of deaths in their areas.
Heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases are as devastating to women as they are to men. Among the risk factors that can be modified, treated or controlled by focusing on lifestyle habits and proper medication are tobacco smoking, high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, physical inactivity, obesity and overweight and diabetes mellitus.
Studies shows that smoking is the single most preventable cause of death and a major cause of cardiovascular disease among women. Lack of physical activity is a risk for heart disease and indirectly increases the risk of stroke.
Overall it has been found that heart disease is almost twice as likely to develop in inactive people as in those who are more active. Research has not yet defined the role that stress plays in the development of heart disease perhaps because people respond differently to situations they find stressful .
Unhealthy responses to stress may lead to other risk behaviors like smoking and overeating. Considering these, it would be good to stay on the safe side by modifying our lifestyle to avoid the risk factors associated with heart disease and stroke.
There is no better measure than prevention, no cheaper way than to engage in appropriate physical exercise that would burn those fats, improved blood circulation, and no better diet than a healthy, balanced diet containing just the right amount of nutrients that the body needs.