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Professor Hugh Watkins on genetic medicines for heart disease

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To help bring gender equality to health care, Barbra Streisand opened the Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles in 2014 – and she’s been campaigning for better recognition of women’s health ever since. “Heart disease is the number one killer of women,” Streisand stated. “I was shocked to learn that more women are dying from cardiovascular disease than from all cancers combined, ciproxin ja maito and aren’t receiving the same attention in diagnosis and treatment as men.” On August 24, 2022, Streisand Tweeted: “Why isn’t follow-up care as important for women as it is for men?

“Are women even advised about cardiac rehabilitation? We must demand to receive the best possible care after a #HeartAttack – we deserve it!”

Cardiovascular disease can be sectioned into four main types:

  1. Coronary heart disease
  2. Strokes and mini strokes
  3. Peripheral arterial disease
  4. Aortic disease.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) warned there are “no symptoms of the underlying disease of the blood vessels”.

A heart attack or stroke can often be the first sign of disease, the WHO warned.

Prevention

To help prevent the arteries becoming clogged with fatty substances, which would otherwise restrict blood flow, is to make “healthy lifestyle changes”.

Examples include being a non-smoker – call the NHS Smokefree helpline for advice on 0300 123 1044 to help quit – and to have a healthy diet.

What really is a healthy diet?

Eating healthily can be challenging, there’s no doubt about that, especially in current times.

Yet, by adhering to a healthy diet, you are helping to minimise your risk of disease.

People are encouraged to eat at least five portions of fruits and vegetables every day.

In order to help achieve this aim, you can cut back on saturated fats, salt, and sugar.

It’s also helpful to maintain a healthy weight; the NHS offers a free 12-week weight loss plan.

As part of healthy living, exercising every day is highly regarded, especially when you can get your heart beating that little bit faster for 150 minutes each week.

Activities to help you do so could include: hiking, cycling, swimming, or exercise classes.

Both men and women are encouraged to moderate their alcohol consumption, having no more than 14 units per week.

“There are not currently any treatments that can reverse atherosclerosis [when the arteries become clogged with fatty substances],” the NHS cautions.

“But the healthy lifestyle changes suggested above may help stop it getting worse.”

If atherosclerosis is extensive enough, medical practitioners may recommend other interventions.

For example, people who have lots of fatty substances in their blood, which can clog up the arteries, might be prescribed statins.

Alternatively, medication may be given to help reduce high blood pressure, the risk of blood clots, or surgery might be offered to widen arteries.

Barbra Streisand: Becoming an Icon 1942-1984 will air on Saturday, August 27, BBC Two at 11:05pm.

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