Cardiovascular disease is the most prevalent worldwide, and is the number one cause in the world and in Mexico.
Secondary cardiovascular prevention is essential for all those patients who have already had a heart attack, in order to avoid the risk of it happening again, however, the serious problem we are facing, in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, is that people are arriving at hospitals on average 48 hours later after the event occurred, “when they can no longer breathe and are practically on the verge of death,” said Dr. Andrea Núñez, clinical cardiologist at the Dalinde Medical Center.
In addition to the 100,000 deaths from COVID-19, he said in an interview with Chronicle, there could be a good number of people who also lose their lives due to a heart attack due to the fear of going to the hospital “and the most unfortunate thing is that we are talking about events that could well have been treated in hospitals, but patients are afraid and are staying at home, and that is where they are dying ”, at home for fear of going to the hospital.
In this same sense, the specialist specified that the heart attack causes the loss of tissue, so that, if the patient does not arrive at the hospital within the first hours after the event occurred, “the doctors can no longer do anything to recover that dead tissue ”.
He stressed that the situation is of such impact, that even in the United States, the American Heart Association (American Heart Association), has just released the campaign “Do not die of fear, because people have difficulty breathing, have chest pain, but they are afraid that it could be COVID and they are not going to hospitals ”.
CULTURE OF SELF-CARE
Cardiologist Andrea Núñez mentioned that the lack of a culture of self-care leads to 45 percent of patients who have suffered a heart attack and had a tobacco habit, continue to smoke after the event occurred.
As for those who follow the treatment to the letter two years after having suffered the heart attack, it is barely 30 percent, “with which we have a very important problem where people have arguments such as that they do not like to take so many medicines, and the truth is that there are not many or few medicines but they are exactly what the patient needs ”.
“I give them an example that we do not go to the ophthalmologist and we say ‘give me a little graduation’, however, unfortunately sometimes it is difficult for us to carry this message to patients”.
A patient who has already had a heart attack will require an average of five pills for the rest of his life, sometimes they can be combined and the number of intakes is reduced, but the worst thing is the lack of adherence to the treatment, even knowing that This treatment will protect them and reduce the probability of an event and the risk of death, and they do not continue with the treatment.
The specialist warned that “after having a heart attack the chances of having a second event are very high, and if a first heart attack has already been had, people should not lose sight of the fact that this is not something random or accidental, that is, an acute event, the result of an accumulation of risk factors and you have to take care of yourself.
The word infarct means tissue death in such a way that a cardiac or cerebral infarction can occur, or in a leg that can end in gangrene, and each time tissue dies, it no longer recovers as before so it is essential not to continue losing tissue.
Faced with this situation, he stressed that cardiovascular disease is the most prevalent worldwide, and is the number one cause in the world and in Mexico, where the main problem we Mexicans have is that we are obese, coupled with the fact that there is a lack of awareness regarding this disease.
From the age of 65, one in every 90 women will die of breast cancer, however, the serious thing is that one in three will die from a heart attack, with which we can see that this begins to be a serious problem , if one takes into account that 45 percent of the population dies from a cardiovascular problem.
AVOID RISK FACTORS
In this context, he mentioned that secondary prevention focuses on controlling risk factors such as blood pressure and diabetes in control, as well as being overloaded or obese, performing some type of daily physical activity, this in strict adherence to the cardiologist’s instructions, as well as taking some medications that are shown to reduce the risk of a new cardiovascular event.
This is due to the fact that at present, a heart attack is not a risk inherent to the elderly, but begins to affect adults from the age of 40, as a result of a series of risk factors such as a sedentary life , overweight, obesity, smoking as well as ensuring a healthy diet and avoiding ultra-processed foods.
“The reality is that we have a large population that have their first event around the age of 40 and if the life expectancy of more or less than 70 years is taken into account, then learning to take care of oneself from an early age becomes more relevant, for to reach old age in the best possible health conditions ”, he said.
Although other types of risk factors must also be taken into account, such as inheritance with relatives who have already had a heart attack and are considered to be at greater risk when these types of events occur before 50 years of age in men, or before 60 in women .
“Smoking is one of the worst risk factors, because many times people start smoking at an early age, and for example, if a person at 40 has a heart attack, but started smoking from the age of 15, they are already 25 years with that habit that makes it a serious risk factor ”.
Faced with such a scenario, the call is for people who have already had a heart attack, even in confinement, to try to eat a healthy diet, take the pills of their treatment with strict adherence, if possible to do some physical activity inside the home, always under the instruction of your specialist doctor in order to minimize the risks and in the event of any discomfort, under the necessary precautionary measures, do not stop going to the doctor, since a timely visit can mean the difference between life and death, he said.