10 things Overweigt people do that can lead to Heart Attack

A team of Heart Specialist led by Professor Kamal Adeleke (2nd Left) at Ilisan-Remo, Ogun State based Tristate Heart & Vascular Center
have already noted that overweight or obesity
is as a result of eating more food than the body needs and consequent storage
or deposition of the extra food in the form of fat in various parts of the
body.  Although we cannot see it, a lot
of such fat is also deposited in the inner walls of blood vessels, especially
arteries.  As fatty materials are
deposited in arteries, the lumen or hole of the arteries gets smaller.  The more weight that the individual puts on,
the more fatty materials that are deposited on the inside of the arteries and
the narrower the arterial channel or lumen becomes.

How blood circulates in the body system

any particular artery gets narrower, less amount of blood is able to pass
through it to convey oxygen and
nutrients to the tissues that it normally supplies.  Waste products from the tissues cannot be
adequately removed.  The tissues affected
therefore cannot function properly.  They
may even stop functioning at all, depending upon the severity of the
obstruction.  This situation more
commonly applies to smaller branches of arteries.  Of particular interest in this case are the
two arteries that supply blood to the heart muscles known as coronary arteries and their branches.

The Human Heart

coronary arteries are more commonly
and seriously affected by reduced blood supply because the heart muscles to
which they supply blood are about the most hardworking and most important
muscles in the body. The heart starts to beat when the fetus is about four
months old in the womb and beats about 70 times per minutes and that is over
100,000 times a day continuously throughout one’s life time.  When the heart’s muscles stop working, the
person dies.

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the coronary artery is unable to
supply adequate amount of blood to the heart’s muscles, it is known as Coronary
Artery Disease
and any physical exaction by the individual may cause
sharp chest pain due to inadequate oxygen to the heart muscles and a pile up of
waste products in the muscles.  The chest
pain may be felt extending to the left arm and/or the lower jaw.  The pain is usually relieved by rest or
medication.  The person may also have
this kind of pain without physical exertion.

A Heart Surgery Patients undergoing treatment

the built up fatty material in the coronary artery causes blood to clot inside
the vessel.  The clot often increases in
size until the particular vessel is blocked, stopping blood supply to the part
of the heart that is normally supplied by that artery.  This causes more severe pain that is not
relieved by rest.  The pain is usually
accompanied by a feeling of dizziness, difficulty in breathing, having the urge
to vomit or vomiting, and a feeling of doom or that something serious about to
happen.  This is heart attack!  If not
relieved, the heart’s muscles affected usually die in 15 to 20 minutes and the
victim may die soon if a large area of the heart is affected or if there is no
immediate medical intervention.

Nigeria’s Billionaire Business man Jimoh Ibrahim (M) is a big man in size and belly

attack usually occurs suddenly, either during physical or emotional exaction or
while the individual is at rest without a particular immediate cause.  In industrialized societies, over 40% of
heart attack victims die.  In the case of
Nigeria where immediate medical
attention or reliable statistics are hardly available, the rate of death from
heart attack is anyone’s guess, hoping that some survive.  Over time, one person can suffer more than
one heart attack.
How to suffer a heart

First Civilian Governor of Bayelsa State (Nigeria) died of Heart Attack in 2015

certain conditions, any person is likely to suffer a heart attack.  Such
conditions are primarily associated with development of Coronary heart Disease
(CHD), which in turn may end up in a heart attack or series of heart
attack.  The conditions are: overweight, high cholesterol level in
the blood, sedentary lifestyle, stress, hypertension, diabetes, smoking, family history of heart
attack, age and gender.  While the
presence of each of these conditions can lead to a heart attack, a combination
of two or more of the conditions greatly increases the risk for any
individual.  Each of these conditions
will be discussed separately, so that the reader will know whether any of them
applies to self or anyone close.  If you
consider any of the conditions to apply to you or someone close to you, refer
to the section on “How to Avoid Heart Attack”  (Will be posted later on this blog)so that you will know the best actions
to take in order to avoid the disaster of a heart attack.
Overweight is Enemy No 1

Nigeria’s Billionaire Business Man, Chief Mike Adenuga is on the ‘Big Size’ side.

way overweight leads to heart attack has already been discussed in a previous
section.  In effect therefore, the
so-called “big man belle” or any
other evidence of overweight should not be something to be proud of or happy
with.  Instead, it should be viewed as
evidence of possible Coronary heart Disease (CAD) and subsequent heart
attack.  There are so many other serious
health problems associated with overweight (to be discussed later) that it
should be realized that overweight is
in fact not only a disease by itself but the
mother of many other diseases
High Level
Cholesterol in the Blood is Enemy No 2

Young Nigerian Entrepreneur & Only son of Tasty Fried Chicken owner, Mr. Bunmi Adedayo died of Heart Attack as a result of Obesity

is a kind of fat that is found mainly in animal foods.  There are two kinds of cholesterol.  They are:
Low Density Lipoproteins (LDL) or “bad cholesterol”.
High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) or “good cholesterol”.
cholesterol is generally required by the body to build cell walls and for other
functions, the so-called “bad
or LDL is the part
of cholesterol that is deposited inside blood vessels as plaque or fatty deposits. 
“Good cholesterol” or HDL on
the other had moves cholesterol away from blood vessels to the liver where it
is utilized.  HDL has opposite effect to
LDL in discouraging fatty build-up inside blood vessels.  LDL is therefore of particular interest in
this context.

Taking Care of Heart related ailments could be challenging

have already discussed the fact that apart from obvious places like under the
skin and in the abdomen, fat is usually deposited inside of blood vessels as
plaque.  Bad cholesterol is most easily
deposited inside arteries.  When
deposited inside arteries, bad cholesterol very easily damages the inside of
the vessel walls and easily causes blood to clot in the vessel.

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the coronary arteries that supply blood to heart muscles, bad cholesterol is
the commonest cause of clotting, blockage of blood supply to heart muscles and
eventual heart attack.  Cholesterol is mainly got from fat from
animal protein foods, such as meat, eggs, cheese, chicken and some types of sea
foods.  Some animal sources, such as pork
or bacon and eggs contain excessively high bad cholesterol more than
others.  That means that anyone who
consumes a lot of animal sources of proteins is likely to consume and have a
lot of bad cholesterol.
addition to food sources, cholesterol is also manufactured in the body by the
liver. That means therefore, that some of the cholesterol in our blood stream
may not be related to what we eat.  The
amount and nature of the cholesterol that our bodies make depend on our
genes.  Therefore, for a small proportion
of people who have a high level of cholesterol in the blood, eating high
cholesterol food may not necessarily be responsible.
high level concentration of bad cholesterol in the blood is an indication of
high risk of its being deposited in coronary arteries and eventual heart attack
in the individual, even if the person is not overweight.  This means therefore that people who are
affluent enough to consume a lot of animal sources of protein like meat, eggs,
cheese and shrimps which are usually more expensive and preferred by most
Nigerians, are often at higher risk.  The
so-called good food that most of us cherish and only the affluent can afford
plentifully has more than monetary price to it – a price in the form of high
level of cholesterol in the blood.  This
is why Nigerians who are well-to-do are particularly prone to heart attack and
early death, unless they understand this danger and take appropriate actions to
avoid it.
cholesterol level below 200 is regarded as desirable for good health. A level
of 200 to 239 is regarded as somehow high and over 240 too high; the lower
one’s blood cholesterol level, the better.
good news about bad cholesterol level in people’s blood is that it can be
measured through a simple blood test in the laboratory.  So it is possible through such simple test
for the doctor to identify the persons whose cholesterol level is too high and
therefore at risk of suffering heart attack sooner or later.  Such people can therefore take appropriate
measures to reduce their cholesterol level, as discussed under (Subsequent post
on this blog) “How to Avoid Heart Attack”
section of this text.
Sedentary Lifestyle
is Enemy No 3

Former Nigerian Head of State, General Sani Abacha lived a sedentary life in Aso rock and Died of Heart Attack on June 8, 1998

exercise does not only strengthen muscle tone and make the joints lubricated
and flexible.  It is also essential for a
healthy heart and efficient circulation of blood.  When exercise or physical exertion reaches
the pint that the person has to pane or breathe heavily and sweat, the heart is
forced to work extra hard.  During
physical exertion, blood pressure is temporarily raised to ensure adequate
blood supply to muscles and vital organs involved, such as the heart itself,
lungs, liver, brain and kidneys.  In
particular, the heart muscles are strengthened in the process, making them
healthier and more efficient.  In
addition to improving the health of the heart and the circulation of blood,
exercise can ensure that more of the calories or energy that would otherwise be
stored as fat is used up for the needed physical exertion.  So exercise contributes to reduction of
weight and hypertension, avoidance of heart attack and improvement of overall
physical and mental health of the individual.
however a person simply eats and sits most of the time without any exercise or
adequate physical exertion, the extra calories consumed will be converted to
fat, some of which will be deposited inside arteries, including coronary
arteries that supply blood to the heart, as already explained.  As people grow older, say from about age 35
years, they tend to engage less in physically exacting activities while
maintaining their level of food consumption. 
In fact, with improving socio-economic level, people are usually able to
afford more to eat, especially the more expensive animal protein foods.  As already noted, this is the source of high
cholesterol in blood, which is particularly responsible for the narrowing of
coronary arteries and subsequent heart attack. 
Routine exercise reduces the accumulation of bad cholesterol in
blood.  Unfortunately, among Nigerians,
it is those who need exercising most that almost always fail to exercise.
is a major problem for affluent Nigerians most of who live sedentary life.  As such if a Nigerian is regarded as:”having made it”, it appears that his or
her lot is to enjoy life, take it easy and avoid physical exaction. This
includes exercises which most Nigerian middle class would claim that they are
too busy to have time for.  Exercising is
in fact not taken as an important part of the Nigerian life.  There is hardly any provision in our private
life or in public policy for encouraging regular exercising.

Billionaire Mike Adenuga (M) A Nigerian Business Mogul is on the ‘Big Size’ as a BIG MAN

for citizens to engage in routine exercises are rare and so are proper
equipment and accessories.  Although
large expanse of space abounds in Nigeria,
large parks with paths for jogging are virtually none existent in cities and
towns in the country. The narrow congested roads, where they exist in the
country, often lack enough sidewalks for pedestrians, let alone for jogging.
There are very few private clubs and associations and other games.  The cultural thinking with regard to physical
exercise seems to be that exercising and associated vigor are for young ones, adolescents
to be exact, not responsible adults who have too much to do with their limited
time and energy.  The irony is that more
than the youths, adults and those advanced in age need these exercises for
their health, vitality and continued quality of life.

Lagos Business Man, Kunle Onignajo, husband of popular stream stress Maufechi died of Heart related diseases in America couple of years ago

is no sector of the country’s economy that has been able to realize the need
for recreation and exercising as important aspects of our individual and
national health. Certainly, not many entrepreneurs have realized the economic
potential of this aspect of our lives. 
For example, equipment and facilities for various forms of exercise
which are necessary for individual health and fitness are hardly available for
a few Nigerians, let alone the millions who need them.  This is currently an aspect of our economy
which is greatly neglected and yearns for creative profitable entrepreneurship
and investment.
(From the Book; “Early and Sudden Death; the Price of Affluence among
Read “7 Deadly Agents
of Heart Attack” tomorrow on Asabeafrika)


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