Ischaemic Heart Disease
Even though the overall percentage of deaths increased in IHD (13.21% in 2000 to 15.53% in 2015), the outlook is positive.
IHD (also known as Coronary Artery Disease) is a disease that is characterised by a reduction of blood supply to the heart that can lead to a heart attack.
The usual culprit is artherosclerosis, which is a disease rarely found in young people which causes the cells lining the coronary artery (the arteries providing blood to the heart muscle itself) become stiff and form plaques which protrude out into the artery, restricting blood flow.
This means that in most cases, IHD happens in older people.
The overall increase in percentage of people dying from IHD is actually just an indicator that those people survived everything else on the list long enough to die of the one thing that just creeps up slowly on people until it makes that one fatal attack.
In fact, if you look at the statistics by age instead of overall death-rate, you find that deaths have reduced between 2000 to 2015. As an example, let's look at a graph of Irish adults aged 30-49 between 2000 and 2015:
This issue has been studied for a very long time, and the gross factors are well determined. About 36% of people that died of IHD were smokers. 20% per obese. 12% didn’t exercise. 3% worked at stressful jobs.
About 53% of all heart attacks happen outside of a hospital.
Indicators of a possible upcoming heart attack:
Chest pain or discomfort
Upper body discomfort (arms, back, neck, jaw, upper stomach)
Shortness of breath
Nausea, lightheadedness, cold sweats
So how do we avoid IHD?
The good news is that 90% of cardiovascular diseases are preventable. All you need to do is to establish a moderate routine that will overall make you feel better anyway, so there’s really no reason not to do it:
Relax (avoid hypertension)
Eat more healthily
Decrease cholesterol intake
Some medical authorities recommend you quit alcohol completely as well, but the World Health Authority says that “low to moderate alcohol intake” actually helps reduce risk. High intake increases risk, though, so be careful.
Exercise moderately. There’s no need to go to a gym every single day. 30 minutes of brisk walking a day is enough. If you are within walking distance of work, then walk that distance.
Eat less meat. Vegetarians are less likely to die of IHD.
Enjoy life. If your work stresses you, get a different job.
Don’t eat trans fats. Avoid margarine, for example. A study in the US1 showed that by banning trans fats from restaurants, there was a marked 6.2% reduction in heart attacks and strokes in one city, and a reduction of 4.5% in deaths, compared to cities where they weren’t banned.