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Public urged to lead healthy lifestyle to guard against cardiovascular diseases
     The Department of Health (DH) today (September 29) urged members of the public to support World Heart Day, held on September 29 every year, by leading a healthy lifestyle and paying attention to keeping their heart healthy, so as to lower the risk of developing heart disease.
     Heart disease is a major public health challenge. In 2021, heart disease was the third commonest cause of deaths, accounting for 13 per cent of all registered deaths in Hong Kong that year. Among 6 595 registered deaths attributed to heart diseases, acute myocardial infarction (heart attack) and ischaemic heart diseases constituted a major portion (59 per cent) of the mortality.
     In addition, the Thematic Household Surveys conducted by the Census and Statistics Department showed that the number of persons who were diagnosed with having a heart disease increased by 21 per cent from 135 900 in 2009/10 to 164 800 in 2020/21.
     "Most heart diseases are preventable and controllable. An international study reported that 90 per cent of myocardial infarction (heart attack) worldwide were collectively attributed to nine modifiable risk factors, including smoking, unhealthy eating with inadequate consumption of fruit and vegetables, physical inactivity, excessive alcohol consumption, abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, suboptimal blood lipid levels, and stress," a spokesman for the DH said.
     To prevent heart disease, members of the public are urged to lead a healthy lifestyle that includes no smoking and no alcohol consumption, being physically active, eating a balanced diet and managing stress properly. To further reduce the risk of developing heart disease and having a heart attack, members of the public should follow the recommendations from the Expert Panel on Reference Frameworks and regularly check for "triple H" conditions (high blood pressure, high blood glucose and high blood lipids).
     The spokesman added that people should choose food low in salt, sugar and fat, and consume at least two servings of fruit and three servings of vegetables a day. They should also engage in at least 150 to 300 minutes of physical activities of moderate intensity (such as brisk walking) or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous physical activities (such as jogging) every week.
     Heart attack is a medical emergency. Members of the public should become familiar with heart attack warning signs and symptoms (such as chest pain or discomfort; pain or discomfort in jaw, neck, arm, shoulder or back; lightheadedness and shortness of breath) and act fast to seek assistance if such warning signs and symptoms develop. The spokesman stressed that the earlier a person receives medical attention, the better the treatment results.
     To help members of the public keep their heart healthy, the DH will continue to work in close partnership with other government departments as well as community partners to increase public awareness about the importance of healthy living in preventing heart disease, and to foster a health-enhancing environment.
     Members of the public can visit the DH's Non-Communicable Diseases Watch at www.chp.gov.hk/en/resources/29/283.html and thematic page at www.change4health.gov.hk/en/saptowards2025 for more information on heart attacks and the Government's initiatives and actions to prevent and control non-communicable diseases.
Ends/Thursday, September 29, 2022
Issued at HKT 11:00
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