Heart failure deaths

HEART attacks do not only take a leading position among the causes of deaths in Fiji.

Medical experts now fear the attributing factors.

With sugar, salt and oil as critically the largest contributors and the lack of physical activities, medical experts have added climatic conditions to the list.

National Health advisor on NCDs, Dr Isimeli Tukana said the hot weather patterns being experienced in Fiji was a great threat to people who have high blood pressure or stress.

“The weather changes increases the chances of heart attack,” Dr Tukana said.

He said with a high number of Fijians already dying of heart attacks, any changes in the weather would affect them.

Apart from the climatic changes, there were three other factors that contributed to the increase in heart attacks.

“Number one reason is diabetes. If you don’t control diabetes, it will lead to heart attack.

“The other one is high blood pressure, because of the stress at work, when people are not sleeping enough.

“And the third one is eating too much fat and oil. So these are the big three culprits.”

He said the risk of people suffering from heart attacks were higher because individuals were now carrying diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

“We are eating too much fat, salt and sugar and when the weather changes and the pressure come upon us, we can’t take it because our body is already under stress.

“So that is the medical explanation. What is making it worse is a lot of stress, people have too much worry.”

He said of the 5000 NCD related deaths annually, heart attack was the number one killer.

“Heart attack is normally due to a block in the supply of blood, the block is coming from too much eating of fat. Your heart can operate on normal pressure and when it goes higher, it affects the heart. That is the reason for the heart attack.”

He said to avoid heart attacks, one should cut down on sugar, salt and fat intake.

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