Why poor lifestyle choices can kill you

By Rose Carmelle Lacuata, ABS-CBNNews.com

Posted at Apr 22 2014 11:42 PM | Updated as of Apr 23 2014 07:42 AM

MANILA -- Poor lifestyle choices can lead to heart disease and other illnesses, according to a health expert.

In an interview on dzMM's "Magandang Gabi Dok," cardiologist Dr. Erlyn Demere explained the different ways that can lead to heart disease.

Non-modifiable risk factors include genetics and gender. Men are more prone to heart disease than women.

Modifiable risk factors, on the other hand, include lifestyle choices such as exercise and food habits.

Vices, such as smoking, are also risk factors in having heart disease.

Demere explained that smoking, aside from damaging the heart, also damage veins and arteries in the body by causing these to age faster.

"Smoking creates endothelial dysfunction. Nagiging lubak-lubak yung daanan ng dugo, nagiging wrinkled ang ugat."

This causes the cholesterol in the blood to easily stick to the arteries, causing them to become congested.

Congestion of the veins and arteries can lead to hypertension.

Smoking can also causes hypertension and diabetes, which can then lead to heart disease.

"Minsan, medyo pabaya tayo sa katawan. Kahit walang family history ng diabetes at heart disease, dumarating yung mga sakit early on," Demere added.

She added that high blood sugar due to diabetes, if uncontrolled, can destroy the arteries.

"Lahat sila nagsa-start sa endothelial dysfunction," she said.

Both smoking and diabetes are risk factors for heart disease, and are both dangerous.

"Modifiable risk factors sila, so huwag mo na simulan ang smoking," Demere said.

The doctor also explained that hypertension, if left uncontrolled, can lead to heart disease.

"Kapag mataas ang blood pressure, lumalaki ang puso kasi the heart pumps against the high pressure."

If left uncontrolled, hypertension can cause the heart to grow bigger and become dilated.

Demere explained that children who constantly experience sore throat are also at risk of rheumatic heart disease.

"Ang rheumatic heart disease is the inflammatory disease na nakukuha ng tao na may history ng infection sa throat."

She added that if a child experiences sore throat, the body reacts and creates antibodies to protect itself from infection.

These antibodies, however, can damage the heart valves.

"Kapag ang bata ay 3 or 4 times a year na may sore throat, kelangan na dalhin sa pediatrician. Kapag nasira ang heart valves, tuloy-tuloy na yun."

Demere said that the best way to avoid rheumatic heart disease is to undergo tonsillectomy, especially if the infection re-occurs.

"Hindi din naman pwede na palaging antibiotics ang ibigay. Kapag palagi pa ring naiinfect, mas maganda na ang tonsillectomy."