Heart conditions are a serious matter globally, claiming around 18.6 million lives annually. In Ghana, they’re the leading cause of death too.
The Cardiothoracic Centre at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) in Accra reported 16,946 outpatient visits due to heart-related issues in 2022. Unfortunately, 21 of these patients didn’t survive.
The Acting Director at the National Cardiothoracic Centre, KBTH, Professor Mark Tettey, revealed these numbers. He identified hypertension, diabetes, and cholesterol problems as the main culprits.
Even untreated common colds, caused by bacterial infections, can lead to severe heart conditions by damaging the heart valve.
It’s alarming that heart diseases and strokes are the leading causes of death worldwide. In Ghana, the situation is no different. Professor Tettey strongly advises regular blood pressure checks for individuals aged 25 and above.
He also emphasizes the importance of a healthy lifestyle, including maintaining a healthy weight, engaging in heart-friendly exercises, and adopting a low-fat, low-sugar diet to prevent diabetes and cholesterol issues.
Air pollution is also a significant contributor to heart diseases, accounting for 25% of cardiovascular deaths. Around 7 million people die annually from heart diseases caused by air pollution.
In Ghana, mercury disposal has been linked to hypertension, heart attack, stroke, and cardiac arrhythmias. Professor Tettey calls for concerted efforts to reduce air pollution and preserve nature.
To combat these issues, Professor Tettey proposes the establishment of a National Heart Institute. This facility would be equipped for diagnosing, treating, and providing follow-up care for heart diseases. It would also serve as a research center.
World Heart Day is an opportunity for the public to learn about heart health and adopt heart-friendly lifestyles. This year’s theme is “Use Heart know Heart”. It’s a reminder that the heart, being the most important organ in the human body, requires utmost care and attention.
Heart diseases include heart attack, heart failure, abnormal heart rhythms, valve disease, high blood pressure, and congenital heart conditions.
SOURCE: Senali News Ghana