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PIA Press Release
2009/02/04

Heart disease 3rd leading cause of deaths in Central Visayas

Cebu City (February 4) - Cardiovascular disease is the 3rd leading cause of deaths in Central Visayas after pneumonia and cancer based on the top 10 leading causes of mortality rate in the region, according to the Department of Health (DOH-7).

DOH-7 Regional Director Dr. Susanna Madarieta in this morning's PIA Kapihan that tackled the observance of Heart Month this February bared the number of cases of cardiovascular diseases is on the rise and is now at an "alarming level."

Though no statistics were given, Madarieta said in previous years, coronary heart disease was not included in the top five leading causes of mortality and morbidity rates in the region.

Cardiologist Dr. Aristotle Betita of the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) in the same forum agreed that cardiac cases is on an upward trend the government-manned hospital just expanded their intensive care unit (ICU) to include more eight beds to accommodate more patients.

"Patients at the ICU are more on cardiac cases that needs strict monitoring," Betita further said. The VSMMC only has eight beds at the ICU and added another eight more which was opened last January 15.

The DOH-7 is reviving the Healthy Lifestyle Campaign to the Max where the revival launching is set on February 16. The launching will be done simultaneously nationwide as it gives focus on four major chronic diseases namely cancer, cardiovascular diseases, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases and diabetes.

Dr. Judita Tawatao, DOH-7 Healthy Lifestyle Program Coordinator said urban areas have more cases on heart diseases due to stress, diet and lifestyle behavior such as smoking and drinking.

In order to prevent the development of heart diseases, Tawatao said there must be a change in lifestyle such as stopping the use of cigarettes and moderate alcohol intake as well as eating a healthy diet that consist more of low fat, low salt and high fiber foods and consuming more green leafy vegetables and fruits.

Betita said the cost of having a heart transplant is very costly where a bypass heart surgery alone could amount to P5M. The VSMMC is not accredited as a heart center and thus, cannot conduct heart transplant but only more on invasive procedure such as coronary angiogram, Betita disclosed.

Madarieta urged the public to practice the Seven Healthy Lifestyle behaviors such as no smoking, do not drink alcohol, say no to illegal drugs, eat low-fat, low-salt, high fiber diet, prevent hypertension, do physical activity and manage stress. (PIA-Cebu/FCR) [top]

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