Climate change, now a risk factor for heart disease – expert

in The Manila Times,

 By Red Mendoza October 2, 2022

CLIMATE change is now one of the cases of having cardiovascular disease, according to a leading heart expert.

This comes as the Philippine Department of Health (DoH) has joined forces with the World Health Organization and other partners to strengthen their collaboration against numerous cases of cardiovascular diseases.

In an event recently held in Taguig City, Professor Fausto Pinto, president of the World Heart Federation, said that air pollution is now emerging as one of the main causes of heart disease, which is one of the top causes of death across the globe.

“Air pollution is responsible for around seven million deaths per year, and one of the systems that air pollution that has a significant impact is the cardiovascular system, so that is one area that we are ensuring that we can tackle this global problem,” Pinto said.

Pinto emphasized that there is now evidence to support the claim that air pollution and climate change can, from a physiological standpoint, affect the cells in the respiratory system that is also linked with the cardiovascular system.

He said that they are now working on developing strategies on how to reduce the impact of air pollution and climate change, noting that this link between the phenomenon and cardiovascular diseases is “worrying.”

Dr. Bente Mikkelsen, director of noncommunicable diseases of the World Health Organization, said that every country in the world has the “tools and protocol-based treatment that is available for the population.”

“If you provide prevention and treatment, we will be able to save millions of lives and secure prosperity for countries,” Mikkelsen said.

Mikkelsen said that worldwide, less than 50 percent of all heart disease detections are not diagnosed, and 40 percent of them manage their heart disease due to the high cost of out-of-pocket spending for medicines.