The pharmacy takes care of your heart

Every year 17.5 million people in the world die prematurely from cardiovascular diseases, pathologies associated with our lifestyle and that could raise this figure to 23 million by not taking measures to address the problem; simple measures that start from a change in lifestyle habits because prevention is shown as the basic pillar to fight against risk factors such as tobacco consumption, unhealthy diets, obesity, physical inactivity or excessive consumption of alcohol.

Although associated with the older population, cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death in the active population. In fact, the Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality estimates that 23,000 people are unemployed for this reason. According to data from the last National Health Survey , more than 35 percent of Spanish workers have a high cardiovascular risk , with three or more risk factors. Of the respondents, only 10 percent of the active population had no risk factor and 54 percent had one or two.

In the control of these risk factors pharmacies play an important role. The 22,000 health facilities working at street level in Spain provide a key capillarity to deal with the prevention of heart disease. In this regard, we must remember a study conducted by the General Council of Official Associations of Pharmacists, ensuring that pharmaceutical care in patients with heart failure reduces hospitalizations by 29 percent.

The professional performance of pharmacists can be carried out from different areas, always starting from the educational intervention and reinforcing the messages that allow to control the different risk factors. In this first step it is necessary to deepen in the recommendations on changes of style of life destined to foment healthy habits that contemplate the abandonment of the tabaquismo, the control of the arterial hypertension and the cholesterol. Not forgetting the practice of moderate physical exercise for 30 minutes at least 3 times a week and maintain a proper diet consisting of consuming 50 percent of fruits and vegetables, 25 percent carbohydrates and 25 percent protein.

Another point of action would be pharmaceutical counseling, more specifically the correct use of cardiovascular medication , monitoring adherence and identifying the most frequent possible adverse effects. We must not forget that the lack of adherence to treatments is a prevalent problem, with very significant clinical and economic consequences, being mostly preventable.

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