On World Heart Day, Garahan Hospital Do not forget that healthy eating and physical activity in childhood is essential for prevention of cardiovascular diseases, what are the main causes of death in Argentina and in the world.
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the elderly population and is preventable from childhood. for that it is important to raise awareness about the importance of incorporating healthy habits and performing regular heart checks from the early years of development, to know what the risk factors are and to seek early diagnosis and timely treatment.
Prevention means a complex approach in which nutrition is predominant and needs to be varied, nutritious and balanced.
“In addition to periodic medical examinations and a healthy diet, it is important to control risk factors, perform physical activity according to each stage of growth, avoid a sedentary lifestyle and, in the case of adolescents, be aware of the harm caused by cigarettes and alcohol,” explained Gladys Salgado, head of the cardiology service.
“Children with healthy habits will have healthy lives when they reach adulthood. We have the responsibility to guide and guide them to learn these behaviors and adopt adequate and responsible habits”, added the professional, highlighting the role of the family, pediatricians and teachers.
Developing healthy habits supports a healthy heart and prevents and reduces the chances of high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes and high cholesterol. These are the main detectable risk factors in adolescents and young adults that can lead to cardiovascular diseases such as myocardial infarction and stroke, which are the leading causes of death worldwide.
Early detection of these conditions is achieved by maintaining the necessary periodic controls in childhood. At the beginning of the school year or various physical activities, it is important to perform medical examinations that include a cardiac evaluation and allow for timely diagnosis and treatment of certain heart diseases along with the discovery of cardiovascular risk factors.
The Garrahan Cardiology Service attended for about a year 10 thousand consultations and performs about 500 cardiovascular operations.
Congenital heart diseases, among other pathologies treated there, are the most common in childhood. However, “the mechanisms of heart disease are not due to the aforementioned risk factors,” Salgado explained.
“Nowadays90 percent of heart disease has surgical resolution, and more than 85 percent of children with congenital heart disease reach adulthood.” said the professional.
“It is important to know that Patients with repaired and even transplanted hearts need a healthy diet and can and should engage in physical activity depending on their cardiovascular conditionalthough a lot of times they’re limited just because they’ve had surgery or treatment, and that’s one of the biggest mistakes,” he explained.
On the other hand, an international study found Five risk factors in childhood which predict that a person may have poor cardiovascular health in adulthood. The researchers were able to analyze data from the participants during the half a century and developed the largest prospective international study of childhood-onset cardiovascular disease. The results were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
The international study conducted by International Cardiovascular Consortium for Children (i3C), he discovered that 5 factors in infancy, they were clinically associated with cardiovascular events, such as cardiovascular attack or stroke (CVA) and myocardial infarction, or death starting at age 40. These are the 5 circumstances mentioned:
1 – Body mass index (which can indicate overweight)
2 – Blood pressure
3 – Cholesterol
4 – Triglycerides (a type of fat found in the blood)
5 – Youth smoking