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This Is How to Take on the World’s Biggest Killer


What is the single biggest killer in the world?

If you answered heart disease, you would be right on the money.

The NZ Heart Foundation, health partner for 2017 in Men’s Health Week, believes cardio vascular disease is responsible for one third of deaths in New Zealand each year. An estimated 17.7 million people around the world died from CVDs in 2015, representing 31% of all global deaths. It’s closer to 33% here in New Zealand.

Over 7.5 million people died of ischemic heart disease (coronary artery disease) in 2015, while strokes – when an artery in the brain is blocked or leaks – killed a further 6.7 million people that year according to the World Health Organisation.

Many of these deaths are in fact preventable. The Heart Foundation believes that the choices you make every day can change your risk of heart disease.

It starts with our mouths, and specifically what we put into them. We need to eat a range of different foods and food types each day, and we need to cut back on bad foods such as saturated fats, salt and sugar. Alcohol needs to be enjoyed in moderation as it is linked to way more illnesses and even cancers than we think. And smoking – just give it away or don’t start. Plain and simple there is not a lot of good to come from cigarettes or cigars, and one year after stopping smoking, your risk of a heart attack is halved.

Moderate exercise on a regular basis completes the basics you need to be thinking about when it comes to the health of your heart.

If you want a start point, pop into a Unichem or Life Pharmacy anytime for the rest of June and have your blood pressure tested for free by the experts there. Only by knowing what state your heart may be in can you start to gain back control of both your heart and your wider health.

And we as a country will see less good men (and women) dying too young from preventable heart diseases.

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