|Researchers at the discussion
The above figures were released by Dr. Do Doan Loi, Vice Director of Bach Mai Hospital, Head of the Heart Institute of Vietnam at the conference on prevention and management of hypertension and cardiovascular diseases held in Hanoi on April 25.
Around 12 million people in the whole country suffer from hypertension, a leading cause of cerebrovascular accidents, heart attacks and heart failures. Particularly, men have more cases than women. It is even more worrying that, according to Dr. Truong Dinh Bac, Deputy Head of the Preventive Medicine Department, nearly 60% of hypertension patients have not been aware of their disease and more than 80% have not been treated.
Up to 70% of people at risk of cardiovascular disease are currently not provided with medical consultancy and preventive measures. Less than 28.9% of people with high cardiovascular risk are treated or counseled on preventive methods of stroke and myocardial infarction.
It is indicated by experts that cardiovascular diseases have been on a rise due to people’s diet of insufficient fruits and vegetables: 57.2% on average (63.1% men vs. 51.4% women) of the adult population consume less than the WHO recommended amount of 400g of fruits and vegetables per day.
Eating too much salt also contributes to heart disease. On average, a Vietnamese person consumes 9.4 grams of salt per day, nearly twice as high as the WHO recommended amount of less than 5 grams of salt per person per day. Lack of physical activity is another cause of cardiovascular disease: nearly one third of the population spends time on physical activities less than the WHO recommendation (at least 150 minutes of physical activities per week).
Taking in a lot of nutrients while doing less exercises may lead to obesity. Up to 15.6% of Vietnamese people suffer overweight and obesity regardless of gender or locations. The prevalence of obesity is increasing rapidly.
|Heart disease may happen regardless of gender or age. Photo for illustration
Even though cardiovascular disease has increased rapidly in both morbidity and mortality, experts note that this is a completely preventable disease, by altering common risk behavior such as eating less salt, more vegetables, saying no to alcohol, tobacco and doing more exercises.
The Ministry of Health has made large efforts to strengthen the provision of preventive services at local healthcare facilities for early detection and management of people at risk of heart-related diseases.
A community-based project called “For a healthy heart” has been implemented in HCMC since 2016 with a set goal of checking and monitoring blood pressure of 2 million people, including about 700,000 people over 40 years old, through increased accessibility and use of high quality services.
The project has delivered message of hypertension to 141,840 people, set up a network to detect and monitor hypertension. Basic information of patients is entered into monitoring software for hypertension management. By Duy Tien