‘High choles­terol im­pacts your heart’

The Borneo Post - - HOME -

KUALA LUMPUR: Nestlé Omega Plus col­lab­o­rated with IJN Foun­da­tion, the char­ity arm of In­sti­tut Jan­tung Ne­gara ( IJN), to host a briefi ng to raise pub­lic aware­ness of the preva­lence of high choles­terol among Malaysians, last Wed­nes­day.

The ses­sion high­light­ing the im­por­tance of man­ag­ing choles­terol and pri­ori­tis­ing heart health to en­hance qual­ity of life was led by med­i­cal prac­ti­tion­ers from IJN and a nu­tri­tion­ist from Nestlé who shared on how high choles­terol im­pacts the heart, and ways to mit­i­gate its lev­els for a health­ier life.

IJN’s Car­di­ol­ogy Depart­ment deputy head Dr Shai­ful Azmi pro­vided an over­view of choles­terol and how it is a ma­jor risk fac­tor for car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease.

He ex­plained the grad­ual na­ture of choles­terol build-up as a re­sult of the ac­cu­mu­la­tion of lipids which clog the walls of ar­ter­ies, pre­vent­ing blood and oxy­gen from flow­ing through which leads to chest pain, heart at­tack or stroke.

“High choles­terol does not dis­crim­i­nate as it can strike any­one re­gard­less of age, gen­der, or body size. Women are equally at risk as men; peo­ple who are not over­weight are just as sus­cep­ti­ble; and young peo­ple are sim­i­larly at risk.

“High choles­terol has no signs or symp­toms and most of the time the cause is dis­cov­ered dur­ing an emer­gency,” he said.

Sev­eral IJN pa­tients shared about their ex­pe­ri­ences with high choles­terol lev­els.

At 36 years old with an ac­tive life­style, Muham­mad Shahril Ham­dan dis­cov­ered he had ar­te­rioscle­ro­sis where two of his ar­ter­ies were clogged.

Work stress which led to poor eat­ing habits caused him to ex­pe­ri­ence shoul­der pains which he had not taken se­ri­ously.

Jeyaes­suary Veemath­urdi, 52, wasshocked­to­sud­den­ly­ex­pe­ri­ence chest pains only to be di­ag­nosed with three blocked ar­ter­ies - the re­sult of high choles­terol, ag­gra­vated by her di­a­betes and high blood pres­sure.

“My heart’s con­di­tion came as a shock to me be­cause I al­ways pre­sumed this only af­fects peo­ple with poor di­etary habits who lack ex­er­cise. This ex­pe­ri­ence makes me re­alise how im­por­tant it is to take care of my heart. I en­cour­age oth­ers to check their choles­terol lev­els and not ig­nore any warn­ing signs your body gives,” shared Shahril.

“It should be noted that not all choles­terol is bad,” ex­plained Dr Emily Tan, a con­sul­tant car­di­ol­o­gist at IJN.

“There is choles­terol that is nat­u­rally pro­duced by the body which forms cell mem­branes, hor­mones and vi­ta­min D. And there is ad­di­tional choles­terol in­gested through eat­ing where trans- fat and sat­u­rated fats are the main cul­prits that con­trib­ute to bad choles­terol en­ter­ing the body.”

Heart dis­ease is the num­ber one killer in Malaysia but most peo­ple are un­aware of how cer­tain risk fac­tors can af­fect their heart health.

A shock­ing one in two adult Malaysians suf­fer from high choles­terol, with about half of them un­der the age of 40. The num­ber re­flects the fast-paced life­styles many Malaysians have, along with the coun­try’s food cul­ture.

Preven­tion is al­ways bet­ter than cure so Malaysians need to be proac­tive about their heart health by go­ing for choles­terol checks as a fi rst step in the right di­rec­tion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.