The economic crisis has impacted the ability of Greeks to protect the health of their heart and circulatory system, with many unable to cover the costs of the tests and medication needed to control high cholesterol levels, according to findings unveiled by the Hellenic Cardiology Foundation on Monday.
Presenting data collected via its 11-year "Cholesterol Control Month" programme, the foundation said this painted a picture for the cardiovascular risk faced by Greeks that was "unexpectedly alarming."
The data showed that only half of those questioned knew whether their cholesterol levels were normal or too high. Even among those aware of a problem, however, on 31 pct were taking any action to lower their cholesterol levels and roughly a quarter had never consulted a doctor about it. One in six Greeks that begin a course of treatment to lower cholesterol are forced to stop due to their inability to cover the cost.
The "Cholesterol Control Month" programme has data collected from a sample of 60,000 individuals, creating the largest database of cardiovascular risk factors for the population of Greece.
The findings were presented by the head of the Henry Dunant Hospital cardiological clinic Dr. Georgios Andrikopoulos during a press conference to announce the 32nd Cardiology Clinic Conference taking place in Athens on April 21-22.
The conference will focus on the latest information relating to cardiovascular risk factors, which in recent years has focused mainly on how environmental factors and pollution impact heart health. He also referred to the study "Korinthia" monitoring 1,700 volunteers from various regions of Corinth, which has revealed the important role played by diet and especially the importance of eating breakfast.