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EPN Breakfast Talk: How aware are we of cardiovascular diseases?

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In its 18th edition, EPN Breakfast Talks hosted cardiovascular surgeon Prof. Parla Astarci.

In its 18th edition, EPN Breakfast Talks hosted cardiovascular surgeon Prof. Parla Astarci. Following a pleasant breakfast-time, the prominent surgeon, who made his name well-known with an endovascular cardiac valve surgery -- which was the first of its kind in Belgium -- began his speech on the causes, risks and preventive measures of cardiovascular diseases. According to Astarci, there are six main risk factors for these diseases: smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, family history, diabetes and excess weight. As for the symptoms of these diseases, Astarci pointed at narrowed, blocked or stiffened blood vessels as one of the most significant and commonly encountered symptom. "Approximately 700,000 people die from heart attacks in Europe each year and, sadly, a great number of people who suffer from a fatal heart attack die before they can be taken to hospital," Astarci noted. First-aid knowledge is of utmost significance in order to help those people survive, the surgeon underlined and added that first aid like chest compressions, checking breathing, performing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation if necessary and calling for ambulance decreases the risk of death from heart attack by 60 percent. Wrapping up his speech, Astarci underlined that healthy diet and lifestyle are the best weapons in fighting against heart diseases. 
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