Failing hearts are a concern

The great number of people in Greece who smoke and are obese means that there are an extra 40,000 heart disease sufferers every year, while up to 15,000 Greeks die from heart attacks yearly, a cardiology professor warned yesterday. Speaking ahead of an atherosclerosis conference in Thessaloniki, where locals will be able to receive free heart checkups, Apostolos Efthymiadis of the city’s Aristotle University said that the main problem is that half of Greeks suffer from dyslipidemia, which means that the lipids in their blood are above normal levels. Efthymiadis explained that this exacerbates atherosclerosis, or the hardening of the arteries, which causes heart disease and attacks. «Proper education and the adoption of preventive measures are the best form of protection against the dangers associated with atherosclerosis,» he said. The professor added that the effects of dyslipidemia can be see through changes in people’s eyes and skin. It is an ailment that can strike youngsters as well as older people.