Heart attacks rise due to habits

One in two heart conditions could have been prevented had the patient not been a smoker or suffered from excessive weight, according to data released yesterday. Figures released at a European Heart Network (EHN) meeting in Athens yesterday showed that the number of people suffering from heart problems in Greece has been increasing in recent years. In 1993, some 15,000 heart attacks were recorded in Greece versus 20,000 per year currently. Five out of 10 heart patients are smokers, under the age of 50 and very often overweight, according to data. Greeks are among the heaviest smokers in the world. Some 46 percent of males are regular smokers with the respective percentage among women reaching 31 percent. Medical experts pointed out that a recent smoking ban in all public places in England resulted in a decline in heart problems a few months after the measure was introduced. EHN’s director Susanne Logstrup yesterday reiterated calls for food companies to provide additional information on packaging about salt, sugar, energy and fat (saturated and unsaturated) content. Food packaging would therefore have an extra colored label – red, yellow or green – depending on how healthy the food is. According to experts, this would play a key role in helping children fight obesity.