Cardiovascular diseases generally refer to adverse conditions related to the heart and blood vessels. The cause of most types of cardiovascular disease is the accumulation of cholesterol on the walls of blood vessels, forming deposits which narrow and block these vessels. Common examples include coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, and myocardial infarction.
Cardiovascular disease is currently the leading cause of death in the world, accounting for approximately 31% of worldwide deaths1. In Hong Kong alone, one in five deaths is caused by cardiovascular disease2.
World Health Organization (WHO)
Hong Kong Department of Health, Centre for Health Protection (CHP)
Am I of a High-Risk Group?
Changeable Risk Factors
Lifestyle: smoking, excessive drinking, lack of exercise, unhealthy eating habits
Physical condition: one or more of the ‘three highs’ (high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high blood fat), obesity (excessive BMI, excessive waist circumference)
Fixed Risk Factors
Age: men >45 years old and women >55 years old have increased risk of cardiovascular disease
Gender: the average age of cardiovascular disease onset is earlier for men than women – men are at higher risk for developing the ‘three highs’ and heart-related problems compared to women
Genetics & family history: increased risk if any of an individual’s relatives had coronary heart disease, stroke, or any of the ‘three highs’ etc, especially when young, as there are genetic factors involved
The more risk factors you have, the higher your risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
If you want to know your ten-year risk of developing cardiovascular disease, you can skip to the free self-assessment section.
Prevent Cardiovascular Disease
80% of cardiovascular diseases, including heart disease and stroke, are preventable.
American Heart Association.
Controlling risk factors through the following methods can effectively reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
Make Lifestyle Changes
Regularly exercise and apply healthy eating habits, quit smoking, control your alcohol intake, and maintain a healthy weight.
Take Routine Physical Examinations
Individuals with any of the ‘three highs’ need to regularly check their blood pressure, blood sugar, and blood lipid index, as well as control their condition to prevent the development of cardiovascular disease in future.
Why Are Routine Cardiovascular Examinations Important?
Cardiovascular diseases are mainly caused by the accumulation of fat in the blood vessels for many years. Different bad habits in life (such as smoking, drinking too much alcohol, and lack of exercise) will also increase this burden on the heart and body. By the time there are symptoms of cardiovascular disease, the disease may already have been brewing for a long time without notice. As such, it is important to acknowledge and tackle its preventable factors early before the condition grows severe.
Your doctor may prescribe different types of cardiovascular drugs for you, and their medication principles may vary. Even for the same type of cardiovascular disease, doctors may prescribe different types and dosages of drugs for different individuals. Please take the drugs under the guidance of a doctor or pharmacist.
Side Effects Due to Cardiovascular Medication
In addition to age, height, weight, and factors related to metabolism, genetics also may affect drug response, leading to side effects or unsatisfactory medication outcomes if not considered properly. Obtaining a drug response report through testing will therefore help the doctor or pharmacist choose a suitable drug type and dosage for you.
Medication instructions: as drug response is very complicated, in addition to genetic factors, there are other factors which may affect drug response.
After receiving the drug response test report, you must find feasible medication plans under the guidance of a doctor or pharmacist. Do not adjust the drug dosage or stop the medication yourself.