Heart disease on the increase

The sedentary way of life adopted by most Greeks, combined with smoking and new eating habits that have replaced the traditional Mediterranean diet, have led to a sharp increase in the number of women and young men suffering heart attacks, doctors said yesterday. According to Professor Stefanos Foussas, head of the Piraeus Tzanneio Hospital’s cardiology department, young Greeks have a greater predisposition toward coronary disease that their northern European peers. «The beneficial results of the Mediterranean-Greek diet are canceled out by smoking and work-related stress,» he told a press conference in Athens, ahead of a forthcoming cardiology conference at the National Research Center. «At this moment, we have a 27-year-old heart attack patient at the Tzanneio,» he said. «Our youngest heart attack victim ever was a 23-year-old man who smoked four packs of cigarettes a day.» Foussas said Greek women, once rarely susceptible to heart disease, are now increasingly developing cardiovascular complaints.

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