By Julian Rodriguez Marin
MEXICO CITY – Some 35 million Mexican adults live with a high risk of suffering a heart attack, cardiologist Eugenio Ruesga told Efe.
“Thirty percent of adult Mexicans are hypertensive – that is to say, some 20 million people, of whom some 7 million don’t know or take care of themselves,” said Ruesga in the presentation of his book “Cardiopatia,” in which he compiles articles on heart disease by 200 Latin American physicians.
The cardiologist said that in Mexico almost 70 percent of the population is overweight and 30 percent of adults are obese, which is one cause of high cholesterol.
“The main thing that increases obesity and cholesterol is the diet of Mexicans, the – in Mexico – so-called ‘Vitamin T,’ which consists of tacos, tortas (sandwiches), tamales, (all) products with a high carbohydrate content,” he said.
Ruesga added that high cholesterol affects 18 percent of Mexican adults, going on to say that another cause of cardiovascular problems is smoking, a vice shared by 8 percent of Mexican adults.
The cardiologist said that the main diseases of the heart involve obstruction of the coronary arteries that supply blood to the organ.
“When the diameter of a coronary artery reduces the blood flow, then we feel a sharp pain that people call ‘angina,’ a pain that is a message to the heart to open the conduits,” he said.
Every hour, ischemic cardiopathy kills about 8 Mexicans, and it takes 68,320 lives per year in this country.
Ruesga added that the second most prevalent cause of death due to heart problems is cardiac insufficiency, which is the inability of the heart to pump blood in sufficient volume to satisfy the demands of cellular metabolism.
Among the other diseases of the heart, the cardiologist said, are pathologies of the valves and arrythmias, which are dysfunctions in the functioning of the organ.
Ruesga said that the book “Cardiopatia” is a manual directed at physicians and medical students, but anybody can find comprehensible information within it about diseases affecting the heart and its functioning. EFE