In LOHAS DIGEST 64, I detailed the steps on how to use the well-established prediction model by World Health Organization (WHO) to check on your Heart Attack and Stroke risk in the next 10 years.   It is a good guide because the chart incorporated six main risk factors – blood pressure, total cholesterol, smoke, diabetes, age and sex.

However, as with all charts, there is a limit to the variables that can be included in.

Your Cardiovascular Diseases (CVD) risk may be higher than indicated by the charts in the presence of the following:

  1. Already on anti-hypertensive therapy (e.g. high blood pressure medication);Images of drugsIn other words,  imagine if you stop your medication, your blood pressure will rise.  Thus, it leads you to higher risk zone in the chart. 
  2. Premature menopause;
  3. Approaching the next age category or systolic blood pressure category;Example on the chart - approaching next category

    For example, if John is 49 years old and his blood pressure is 127, his risk could shift from green zone to yellow zone as indicated by the blue arrow. 

    Similarly, if Susan, a smoker, with Blood Pressure of 119, her risk also could shift from green to yellow zone, indicated by red/white arrow.

  4. Obesity (including central obesity);

    Firstly, if your BMI is 30 or above, then you are considered obese, naturally at a higher risk.BMI chart by HPB

    Next, if you are not obese but if you are having a bigger tummy or potbelly, your risk is higher too. 

    A good guide is to measure your Waist-to-Hip Ratio (WHR).

    WHO recommends a WHR < 0.9 for men and WHR < 0.85 for women.

    Image - how to measure waist to hip ratio

  5. Sedentary lifestyle;

    If you averagely walk lesser than 2.5km (approx. 4000 steps) per day or you only engage in light activities that does not cause you to perspire nor increase your heart rate, you are high likely belongs to sedentary group.

  6. Family history;

    Family history of premature coronary heart disease (CHD) or stroke in first degree relative (male < 55 years, female < 65 years)

  7. Raised triglyceride level (>2.0 mmol/l or 180 mg/dl);
  8. Low HDL (which means not enough good cholesterol)  level (< 1mmol/l or 40mg/dl in males, < 1.3 mmol/l or 50 mg/dl in females);
  9. Raised levels of C-reactive protein, fibrinogen, homocysteine, apolipoprotein B or Lp(a),or fasting glycaemia, or impaired glucose tolerance;
  10. Microalbuminuria – a condition where there is a moderate raise of protein in your urine.
  11. Raised pulse rate for no apparent reason.
  12. Socioeconomic deprivation.

Lastly, having enough sleep is the key.  I am sure that you have read and heard many news that overworked young doctors collapsed and online gamer passed away after non-stop gaming. 

In fact, since 2009 when I started conducting Meridian Self-Therapy Program, I have been telling all participants the importance of enough sleep and sleeping early.  There is a research shown that during Daylight Saving transition in the western countries (where people get lesser sleep), there is a high occurrence of heart attack.  In short, a good quality sleep is a good healing process for many health conditions.

So, with this PART 2, on identifying and lowering your risks of Heart Attack and Stroke in the next 10 years,  I hope it gives you a complete picture and also a better idea in taking proactive action to protect your heart and your brain. 

A simple and easy starting step is to find our your risk using the WHO prediction chart (refer to LOHAS DIGEST 64), then circle all the possible risks you might have in this article.  Then, decide which area you would like to work on.  It could be as simple as correct the sedentary lifestyle – a small step to big difference.

Stay healthy for yourself and your family members. 

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