Twenty-eight per cent of Cypriots are obese and 36 per cent are overweight, the island’s society of cardiology said on Wednesday during a news conference to mark World Heart Day 2018.
The society’s chairman, Kyriacos Yiangou, said quitting smoking, reducing consumption of cholesterol-rich foods, regular blood pressure checks and engaging in daily exercise are main ways to keep heart disease at bay.
World Heart Day takes place on September 29 every year and is the World Heart Federation’s largest platform for raising awareness about cardiovascular disease and stroke.
Heart-related issues and strokes are two of the major leading causes of death worldwide, with more than 17.5 million deaths annually. It is estimated that, unless significant lifestyle changes occur worldwide, the number will skyrocket to 23 million by 2030, warned Yiangou.
The head of the Pancyprian Medical Association, Petros Agathangelou added that one in ten people aged 30-70 years old die prematurely from coronary heart disease and stroke but that 80 per cent of them could have been saved had they made significant lifestyle changes.
Agathangelou put particular emphasis on the importance of sports, noting that sports should be part of one’s lifestyle.
“Sports should be a way of life and a reflection of a healthy relationship between mind and body,” Agathengelou said.
The Cyprus Sports Organisation (KOA) also provided its support. The general manager of KOA, Mary Charalambous, said that the goal of KOA is to let the public know about the many benefits of participating in sports.
On Saturday, September 29, doctors and members of the cardiology society will organise a visit to Prodromos village where they will offer free services to the village community. The diagnostic tests they will perform will involve cardiograms, blood sugar tests and blood pressure checks. Prodromos village was chosen because it is one the villages that is relatively far from any health services.