A Profesor in College of Medicine, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Janet Ajuluchukwu says most heart disease risk factors could be modified.
Speaking in an interview with the press in Lagos, Ajuluchukwu identified age as one of the factors that cannot be modified.
She further identified hypertension, diabetes and obesity, which could cause heart damage, as risk factors that could be modified.
She said that in spite of the risk factors, heart disease could be prevented if people would make conscious effort to lead a responsible and healthy lifestyle.
The cardiologist, however, advised persons genetically at risk – whose parents had high blood pressure (HBP) or diabetes – to be much more careful as they could be more predisposed to heart disease risk as they grow older.
Genetics play a part in heart diseases. If your parents have HBP or diabetes, that is likely to be in the family.
“We have the risk factors for heart diseases; some are modifiable, some are non-modifiable.
The non-modifiable one is age. The older someone is, the more they are likely to have a problem,” she said.
Ajuluchukwu also stressed the need for people to be wary of herbal preparations consumed as medicine prevent further damage to an already weak heart.
“People are going and picking all sorts of leaves, putting them together, making concoctions out of them and selling them to gullible people.
And most of them are very very dangerous.
Research is helping us to know things, make progress with technology and then we cannot just go into the bush and say that every leaf, because it is natural, is safe.
It is not always so. We have seen many people experience heart failure because they have taken some herbal preparations and herbal concoctions that are of no proven value.
This is even worse when people are sick. If your heart is good, it will not be easily damaged.
But many people may not know that they already have a damaged heart,” she said.
The cardiologist, therefore, advised people to eat right, engage in physical exercise and regular medical check.