Cancer is a top concern for many, but statistics for Taiwan show that people should be equally wary of heart disease, according to Taiwan Society of Cardiology executive president Huang Jui-jen (黃瑞仁).
Medical technology enables people to live longer, but the more people there are who live longer, the more people there are with heart problems, Huang said, adding that about three out of every 100 people are diagnosed with chronic heart failure.
In Taiwan, more than 70,000 people a year are hospitalized after heart failure, of which 32.3 percent are discharged but readmitted within six months, Heart Failure Registry statistics showed.
Photo provided by Taiwan Society of Cardiology
Reasons for the high hospitalization and mortality rates include missed medication; insufficient water and sodium intake; concurrent urinary or respiratory tract infections; and sudden dysrhythmia, heart palpitations or another heart attack, Huang said.
People with heart disease, a family history of heart problems, or the three “hypers” — hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia and hypertension — are susceptible to heart failure, he added.
If people tire easily, become short of breath when walking, experience swelling in their feet, or have a persistent cough with white or blood-tinged phlegm, then they should see a doctor immediately, he said.
The main cause of heart failure is coronary heart disease, and the best way to avoid or lessen the condition is to quit smoking and avoid getting any of the three “hypers,” Huang said, adding that vaping is as detrimental to health as cigarettes.
The “My Heart, Your Heart” project was initiated this year to increase public awareness of heart disease, the Taiwan Society of Cardiology said, adding that short videos were also produced to help educate the public about the disease’s dangers.
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