What is HealthCUBE?
What is the “Quartet of Death?” It refers to hypertension, hyperlipidemia, central obesity, and impaired glucose tolerance which is a probable precursor of diabetes. This is called metabolic syndrome in medical terms. When the four parties start playing, your blood vessels begin to be clogged slowly, and the blood vessels of your heart and brain are no exception. Unfortunately, there is no nerve in your heart and blood vessels, so you have no symptom even if they are 80% clogged, and you lead your daily life unscathed until you suddenly collapse that you have to be carried into an ambulance. This is why some call myocardial infarction “a silent assassin.”
It is a global phenomenon, with the number of patients with stroke or heart disease exploding due to such cause. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), heart disease is the unrivaled number one cause of death. Of all the deaths across the world, 17.7 million people — accounting for over 31% of the total number of deaths — lose their lives to cardiovascular diseases every year. The same goes for the Republic of Korea, so the country as of 2016 has around 625,000 patients with angina — or having narrowed heart arteries — and around 35,000 patients with acute myocardial infarction. The country has even more patients with arrhythmia, or having irregular heartbeats, which numbers almost one million according to a society.
Other developing countries are also seeing an increase in chronic lifestyle diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, and hyperlipidemia. The problem is that the increase in patients with such diseases does not stop. This is because the patients are “mass-produced” by western eating habits involving high-calorie, high-fat foods, lack of exercise, smoking, stress, fine dust, etc. combined. Especially, you need to pay attention to Asia with regard to the increase in cardiovascular diseases. Scholars compare Asia — which is enjoying material affluence thanks to economic development within a short period — to “the powder keg of cardiovascular diseases,” noting that the exploding number of Asian patients with such diseases reminds one of a war. For instance, China as of 2017 has around 36 million patients with cardiovascular diseases.
Listing such cases is a daily thing, which is neither special nor new. You get myocardial infarction without warning like this. Thus, paradoxically, patients with myocardial infarction may somewhat envy cancer patients who are terminally ill but can at least prepare for their death. In modern times, which boast of cutting-edge medicine, it is truly unfortunate to live not even knowing that there is risk of cardiovascular diseases inside your body. Just like Mr. A, who takes his backpack to go to a mountain excitedly while his own life is in danger, we are living with no foresight.