Heart Disease as One of the Leading Causes of Mortality

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Geographical difference between countries in the manifestation of all aspects of heart disease is evident but immigration studies conducted in the West suggest that cultural factors such as smoking and improper diet outweigh genetic and environmental factors in their effects. Arterial hypertension, stress, hypercholesterolemia and obesity are all contributory factors in the genesis of heart disease. Conditions like hyperlipidemia and diabetes also contribute to the morbidity associated with this disease. Though all these factors are varied in nature yet a sedentary lifestyle is generally associated with the development of obesity, high blood pressure, atherosclerosis etc which are again related to the high incidence of cardiovascular problems prevalent in the developed countries. Obesity in itself is a weak risk factor for heart disease but in Britain, it is closely associated with the most common form of hypercholesterolemia which in turn is crucial in the genesis of heart disease. It is proved beyond doubt that sedentary behavior has a detrimental effect on health which can only be reversed through physical activities. All communities showing low physical activity have a higher prevalence of heart diseases. Hence the need to encourage the communities to adopt a healthy lifestyle in which regular physical exercise is a part of the daily routine has been adopted by the governments of Europe and the USA. Taking a serious view of problems associated with sedentary existence, this subject has become a public health priority in many countries. Hundreds of community-based exercise referral schemes have been established to increase physical activities. The government policy in England has developed a system to support the exercise referral scheme or ‘exercise on prescription’ to increase the uptake of healthy lifestyle behaviour in the general population. It aims to encourage people to engage in regular physical activity working in partnership with primary care and local leisure services.