Westerners make Chinese sick

Westerners make Chinese sick

Cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of death in China

While traditional Chinese medicine, which also includes a healthy diet and lifestyle, is gaining increasing recognition in Europe, for some time now an opposing trend in China seems to have been the cause of more and more sick and overweight Chinese. Westernization causes around three million Chinese to die each year from cardiovascular diseases. Even children were increasingly overweight, experts said at the Beijing International Cardiology Congress. A major problem is the lack of preventive measures that have not yet been provided for in the Chinese health system. Now doctors are raising the alarm.

Every year three million Chinese die of cardiovascular diseases With the rapid economic growth, prosperity and with it the diseases of civilization came to China. Due to the changed lifestyle of many Chinese - especially the urban population - cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and strokes are now in first place among the causes of death in the "Middle Kingdom". According to a Chinese study presented at the Beijing International Cardiology Congress, a Chinese dies every ten seconds from cardiovascular disease.

Above all, the scientists see the lifestyle of many people, which has changed drastically over the past 30 years, as the cause of the significant increase in diseases of civilization. The annual per capita income has increased almost eightyfold over the past 30 years. While a Chinese earned an average of 381 yen in 1978, his average salary in 2010 was 29,748 yen. In addition there is the rural exodus, 30 years ago only 18 percent of the Chinese population lived in urban areas. Today around 50 percent belonged to the urban population.

Cardiovascular diseases are only treated at an advanced stage Lack of exercise, unhealthy diet and nicotine consumption are the cause of the dramatic development in overweight, high blood pressure and diabetes, the researchers report. In addition, these diseases of civilization are often not treated adequately or only at an advanced stage. "As a result, three million Chinese die of cardiovascular disease every year," study leader Dayi Hu, head of the cardiac center at Perking University, said during the congress. According to Hu, 40 percent of deaths have now been attributed to heart attack or stroke And Co. With this, China is catching up with the western industrialized countries even more when it comes to health problems.

The number of smokers has risen so drastically that roughly every second man and a total of 350 million Chinese smoke cigarettes or other tobacco products, the researchers report. Smoking is not prohibited in public places in China. Hu therefore sees politics as a duty: "The government must pass laws that prohibit smoking in public places." The Chinese Cardiology Society plans to work with the government to better control tobacco use.

Health prevention measures so far neglected in China "Prevention has so far not been a priority in the Chinese health system," Hu continued. Not only does the population lack knowledge of the risk factors for cardiovascular diseases, but many doctors also lack specialist knowledge for the treatment of these "modern." “Diseases, which is why only the end stages have been treated in the past 20 to 30 years.

Doctors in particular would be a bad example, because "half of the male doctors smoke and many are overweight," explains Hu. Even cardiologists who do not lack knowledge about such diseases sometimes lived very unhealthily. "I am convinced there will be no healthy population as long as there are no healthy doctors, "the study leader warns.

The development of health among Chinese children is particularly dramatic. Many of them, like their western peers, are now overweight to extremely obese due to lack of exercise and an unhealthy diet. "We should start with more health education and upbringing at a very early age in order to support people in exercising more and eating healthy," said Hu.

The scientist advises a low-salt diet. “In China, we should use television to educate people to eat less salt. We also need to promote healthy, low-salt cafeteria food because many children eat in school canteens more often, and workers eat lunch and dinner more often in company cafeterias than at home, ”said Hu.

92 million Chinese suffer from diabetes More and more people in China suffer from high blood pressure and diabetes. Both diseases are among the main risk factors for heart attack and stroke. There are now 92 million diabetics in the country, Hu said. In the cities in particular, the number has increased dramatically - by 50 percent. Due to insufficient treatment of diabetes in China, 16 times as many diabetics would be treated for complications in hospitals as in the Netherlands, for example, Hu added. "The number of people affected is huge, but there are hardly any measures."

The situation is similar with the care of hypertension patients. Only a third of those affected in China are even aware that their blood pressure is too high, compared to 80 percent in the United States. Only 24 percent of these Chinese patients would be treated for high blood pressure. This contrasts with 74 percent in the United States. Ultimately, only six percent of hypertension patients in China would get their values ​​under control, compared to 50 percent in the United States.

High blood pressure (hypertension) is often discovered late because it shows no symptoms over a long period of time or is associated with only moderate, non-specific symptoms. However, if the blood pressure is greatly increased, nervousness and other vegetative symptoms, morning headaches, difficulty breathing when under stress and severe dizziness can occur. If acute nosebleeds, heavy palpitations and seizure-like headaches also occur, a high-pressure crisis could already have occurred. In this case, immediate emergency medical help is required. The most serious consequences of hypertension are heart attack and stroke. (ag)

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