May 27, 2015
Early Investments, for the Sake of Better Elderly Days
Commemorating National Elderly Day

Jakarta (27/5) – Ageing is a process which will be definitely experienced by everybody, meaning that this is a change in the physiology and anatomy of the heart that will happen to everybody. With the increase of age, it is very common the condition and function of the body will keep on decreasing causing vulnerability towards the attack of diseases, and one of it is cardiovascular disease. Looking in this issue, SOHO Global Health takes the momentum of the National Elderly Day which every time falls on 29 May, to conduct a SOHO #BetterU event with “Early Investments, for the sake of Better Elderly Days” as theme.

As a body organ, the heart has a crucial role, because it works for 24 hours to pump blood to the entire body for the well functioning of the body. When the heart is in a certain condition and is unable to perform its duty, this condition is called as heart failure. But at present, cardiovascular disease is not suffered by the elderly only.

Even, according to the data of World Health Organization (WHO), every two seconds, one person in the world dies due to cardiovascular disease, due to cardiac attack every five seconds and due to stroke every six seconds. It is estimated that each year 17 million persons die due to cardiovascular disease. This makes cardiovascular disease the main cause of death and disability world-wide.

Factors causing a person to have a high risk towards cardiovascular disease are divided into two groups, i.e. the controlable factors among others high cholesterol level, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, obesity, as well as unhealthy life-style such as lack of exercise, smoking, and excessive alcohol consumption. And uncontrollable factors such as increased age, gender, and history of cardiovascular disease in the family. 80% of coronary cardiac and cerebrovascular diseases are caused by controllable risk factors.

Cardiac arrest and stroke are especially caused by aterosclerosis (accumulation of fat) on the blood vessel artery wall which supplies the heart and brain. Deposit of accumulated fat will cause lesions that sooner or later will be larger and thicker, narrowing the artery and blocking the bloodstream. At the end the blood vessels will harden and less flexible.

Cardiovscular disturbances caused by aterosclerosis are related to the reduced bloodstream because the heart and brain do not receive adequate supply of blood. The blocked bloodstream will then cause a more serious cardiovascular episode including cardiac arrest and stroke. The existing blocking of blood can also cause rapture on the artery tissue that will then be swollen and may block all blood vessels causing cardiac arrest and stroke.

“Narrowing of blood vessels will increase in line with increased age. But cardiac arrest is very much influenced by risk factors. The more the risk factors, the easier we may suffer from cardiac arrest. Some risk factors of coronary cardiac diseases are the existence of hypertension, high cholesterol level, or obesity and smoking”. said Professor Harmani Kalim, MPH, Cardiologist, MD, Cardiovascular Specialist of Mitra International Hospital.

Consuming high cholesterol food with no exercise will cause the accumulation of plaque in the coronary blood vessels in an ulcer-form that may enlarge. We need to worry on the existence of plaque in the blood vessels. When the accumulation of plaque in the blood vessels become larger, the supply of food and oxygen to the heart will be less and less and it will be difficult for the heart to optimally perform its function to pump blood.

“Another danger is ulcer-formed plaque that may break. The brake of plaque or ulcer in the coronary vessel will trigger the reaction of blood clotting and blood will clot in the coronary blood vessel causing the blocking of food supply for the heart muscle resulting in damage or even death of the heart cells. This is called as cardiac arrest” add Professor. Harmani Kalim, MPH, Cardiologist, MD, Cardiovascular Specialist of Mitra International Hospital. Compared to the condition abroad, the average age of cardiac patients are in their sixties, while in Indonesia the most prevalence is at the end of forties until the beginning of fifties. But recently many patients are in the age of 20 up to 35 years. Some actions which can be taken to maintain cardiac health are among others:

1. Exercise such as brisk walking, swimming, jogging or cycling, because these can provide the best exercise for your heart. By brisk walking for 2.5 hours a week, you can reduce the risk of coronary cardiac arrest and stroke by one-third.

2. Make sure that you have adequate sleeping hours. People who sleep less than five hours at night tend to experience accumulation of calcium mineral in the cardiovascular which may brake and results in cardiac arrest and stroke. The ideal sleeping time is 6-7 hours per day.

3. Do not bury your heartache and laugh, mental pressure caused by the holding back of emotions starting from heartache, severe sadness, up to hostile feeling and anger, may result in the blocking of your heart aorta and the effect is similar to cholesterol oxidation, metal poisoning, insulin, radiation as well as thickened and sticky blood. By laughing you reduce your stress hormone that is known to be able to cause the damage to the blood vessel protection layer

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