–Heart disease now claims the lives of two people hourly in Thailand, leading the Medical Services Department to advise people to avoid risky factors, including high-fat food, smoking and excessive drinking.
Department Deputy Director-General Narong Apikulawanit issued the warning at a press conference to mark World Heart Day. The international campaign is spearheaded by the World Heart Federation and held worldwide every September 29 to spread awareness about preventing heart disease and strokes.
Narong said heart disease must be urgently tackled given that it caused the death of an estimated 7.4 million deaths worldwide in 2012. Thailand’s ratio of coronary heart disease deaths in 2015 was 28.9 per 100,000 population, or approximately two deaths per hour, he said.
People with diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and high cholesterol, as well as smokers, are at particular risk and must pay attention to their heart health, said Narong.
They should adopt a low-sodium, low-sugar and low-fat diet high in nutrients, and drink sufficient water, he said. They should also exercise at least 30 minutes daily five times a week or take up other appropriate low-impact activities such as house cleaning, cycling or garden strolling.
Warning symptoms of progressing heart disease include easy tiring, chest tightness during exercise and chest pain that spreads to the left shoulder. If the symptoms last for more than five minutes or get worse, immediate medical attention should be sought, Narong warned.