Alarming rise in Vietnamese population with high levels of cholesterol

Statistically, every 10 adults, one has high levels of cholesterol, said the Ministry of Health at the launch of “ Action month for fighting high level of cholesterol in Hanoi on October 16.

Alarming rise in Vietnamese population with high levels of cholesterol

At the launch, Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Truong Son said that the action month is expected to raise people’s awareness of driving back the high level of cholesterol in their bodies; therefore, contributing to the fight against non-communicative diseases.
More and more Vietnamese people are having high cholesterol. Worse, half of Vietnamese female population aged from 50 to 65 have high cholesterol. With high cholesterol, a person can develop fatty deposits in the blood vessels. Eventually, these deposits grow, making it difficult for enough blood to flow through the arteries
High blood cholesterol is one of the major risk factors for heart disease. The higher blood cholesterol level, the greater the risk for developing heart disease or having a heart attack. The WHO's World Health Report 2002 identified tobacco use, alcohol consumption, overweight, physical inactivity, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol as important risk factors for non-communicative diseases.
Having high blood cholesterol raises the risk for heart disease, the leading cause of death, and for stroke, the fifth leading cause of death. According to statistics in 2016, non-communicative diseases killed 41 million people in the world. In the Southeast Asian country, of 548,800 deaths in 2016, 77 percent of them died of non-communicative diseases.
Rapid urbanization, changes in environment, abuse of tobacco and alcohol, unhealthy eating and low physical activity have been linked to the grow of non-communicable diseases including high levels of cholesterol, said Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Truong Son.
According to Associate Professor Le Bach Mai, former Deputy President of the National Nutrition Institute, cholesterol is a type of fat that is part of all animal cells. It is essential for many of the body's metabolic processes, including the production of hormones, bile and vitamin D. However, high cholesterol levels can lead to clogged arteries that come from a process known as atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries.
Cholesterol is produced by the liver and also made by most cells in the body. It is carried around in the blood by little ‘couriers’ called lipoproteins. A person doesn’t need to eat foods that contain cholesterol.
Medical experts advised people not to eat foods containing high cholesterol such as fatty meats, processed meats like salami and sausages, snack foods like chips, most takeaway foods, especially deep-fried foods, cakes, biscuits and pastries.
In the action month, the Ministry will increase education of health in the community and control non-communicative diseases at grass-root clinics. Moreover, consultations and free testing will be offered in five cities and provinces and 15 infirmaries across the country.

By Nguyen Quoc – Translated by Dan Thuy

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