Beware: sudden death from merrymaking
* * *
Call him a killjoy, but Dr. Antonio Leachon is cautioning everyone against bingeing these days leading up to Christmas. We might succumb to the Holiday Heart Syndrome. That is, suffer heart attack or stroke due to overindulgence.
The week of Christmas can be most dangerous, Leachon warns. Parties get to be more often, and people are stressed from shopping and traffic, and tired from squeezing party preparations into work. They overeat and drink to de-stress. The chances of myocardial infarction or cerebral hemorrhage are higher soon afterwards. For those who drive drunk, chances of fatal accidents are higher as well.
A cardiologist and internist, Leachon draws from studies abroad to bolster his own domestic researches. Dr. Robert A Kloner of the Heart Institute, Good Samaritan Hospital, Los Angeles, is one source. Kloner had noted that the incidence of sudden death rises in the US during the little over one month from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. He attributes it to under-workout, stress and overindulgence. The cold weather constricts blood vessels. Merrymakers drop dead from the combination of unhealthy lifestyles.
Leachon says the holiday season is longer in the Philippines. It starts on the first week of December, encompassing Christmas, New Year and Three Kings’ Day, then extending to the Chinese New Year and Valentine’s. It’s not only the no-exercise, higher stress, and overeating and drinking that’s dangerous. There’s also the noise and air pollution from extra-loud music, and fumes from cigarettes and fireworks. Most holiday heart attacks and strokes in the Philippines occur in the early morning, when temperature is cooler.
A peso-a-year consultant of the health department for non-communicable disease, Leachon warns that heart and stroke patients are no longer the usual rich seniors. They’re getting younger and cut through all social classes. It’s because the Generation-X, now in the 30s, grew up in videogames instead of traditional physically strenuous sports. Junk food and soda, cigarette and alcohol are also readily available to rich and poor alike. Sixty percent of Filipino deaths today is due to non-communicable diseases: heart attack, stroke, diabetes, cancer, and lung ailment.
Workout is not enough, Leachon says. An average male must limit his intake to 1,800 calories a day; a female, 1,500; a serving of French fries gives 500 calories, a third of the day’s limit, but an hour on the treadmill can burn only 300 calories. Restraint is best. Cut down on the lechon, beer and, most of all, salt and sugar — now.
source site : http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=759885&publicationSubCategoryId=64