Heart attack — a silent killer among high blood pressure and diabetes patients


ALOR SETAR: High blood-pressure (BP) and diabetes patients are at a greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease, or suffering heart attacks.

Kedah Medical Centre’s (KMC) cardiac specialist Dr Abdul Rahim Tahir said heart disease is a silent killer, as it has no signs or symptoms in patients with high BP and diabetes.

“While the main cause of heart attack is smoking, about 30 per cent of diabetes and high blood pressure patients also suffer from heart attacks,” he said, delivering a talk on cardiovascular diseases at KMC, here.

He said symptoms of a heart attack include chest pain, difficulty breathing, palpitation and swollen feet.

Dr Rahim said screening is necessary to detect cardiovascular disease, as symptoms are often not present.

He added that the support of people around the patient is also important, especially for smokers who have cardiovascular disease.

“Nicotine in the cigarette can cause the supply of oxygen to the heart to be reduced, thereby increasing the pressure and viscosity of blood, which destroys the cell that protects arteries. Smoking does not only affect smokers, but surrounding people as well.”

Citing World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics, Dr Rahim added that four million smokers died from heart attacks in 2002. — Bernama

“Smokers should immediately give up smoking, as studies have shown that in just 24 hours after stopping smoking, carbon monoxide is destroyed in the body, and the lungs begin to remove other effects of cigarettes,” he said.

WHO projects that the number of male smokers who die from heart attacks will increase from one in ten, currently, to one in six, by 2030.

— Bernama