Heart Diseases Risks Increase, If Not Prevented

September 24 is the World Heart Disease Day. Heart Disease affects thousands of Afghans every year and more than 2000 people died due to Heart Disease in Afghanistan last year.

21,884 people with heart disease were registered in the Ministry of Public Health, of which 2,477 people died in 2022, according to health officials.

Doctors say that ageing, non-standard diet, smoking, diabetes, weight gain and other reasons cause people to suffer from heart disease.

Islamuddin Ahmadi
28 Sep 2023
Heart Diseases Risks Increase, If Not Prevented

A large number of people in Afghanistan suffer from heart disease, and some of them die.

Mohammad Sami Karimi, head of the control and prevention of non-infectious diseases in the Public Health Ministry says that about 22,000 people have been registered with heart disease in the last year.

“21,884 people with heart disease have been registered in Public Health Ministry in 2022, of which 2,477 people have died.”

Doctors say that people get heart diseases from age 20 to 75, but mostly patients over 45 years old are 80% of cases.


Risk Factors

The main factors of heart disease are unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and not controlling other diseases.

To screen for risk factors, observing them can reduce the heart disease rate, Karimi says, adding that “Unhealthy diet, hereditary heart disease, use of tobacco, high blood cholesterol, diabetes, obesity and physical inactivity are the biggest factors of heart disease.”

Moreover, Dr. Mirwais, an internist said polluted air and diabetes are also heart disease factors.

“Air is polluted, the food is not up to standard, the diabetes level is high, the using tobacco is high, these are also heart disease factors”, Mirwais said.

At the same time, Dr Kalimullah Arshad Rahimi said, the high use of low-quality oils affects people suffering from heart disease.

“Most people use a lot of oil and the quality of the oil is low, obesity, diabetes, alcohol use, these are all heart disease factors.”



Doctors say heart disease symptoms are different depending on the type of heart disease, but most of them are similar.

Mirwais Ghairat, an internist says: “Chest pain, pain in the neck, shoulders and hands, shortness of breath, weakness or coldness in the legs, swelling of the legs and the neck veins, occurs for the one with heat diseases, if it is not treated soon, the stomach and liver will also swell.”

Most heart disease symptoms are similar, says Dr Kalimullah Arshad Rahimi, adding that “There is a pain in the chest, neck and other parts of the body, swelling in the legs, belly area and easily tiring during physical activity or walking.”



Heart patients should follow healthy recommendations and medical guidelines correctly to boost their heart health.

“For preventing heart disease, people should exercise regularly, quit smoking, healthy diet, and maintain a healthy weight and high blood pressure as precautions. But those suffering from heart disease in addition to these, should take more vegetables, and fruits, reduce salt and oil, exercise, and vaccinate against flu, pneumonia and other diseases. Patients should be in contact with their doctor and treated regularly”, Dr. Mirwais Ghairat said.

Dr Kalimullah Arshad Rahimi says people should take in fewer foods that cause heart disease, adding that “people suffering from heart disease should take in less salt and fat, don’t eat too much, lose weight, quit smoking and alcohol, control high blood pressure, and exercise regularly.”


Diagnostic and Treatment Facilities

Ministry of Public Health officials say that enough facilities to diagnose heart disease exist inside Afghanistan, but treatment facilities in public hospitals are limited.

Mohammad Sami Karimi, Public Health Ministry head of control and prevention of non-communicable diseases says that a stent costs from 100,000 to 200,000 Afghani to place heart arteries, such facilities are not available in public hospitals.

“Ibn Sina Hospital had 21 beds in the past, but after the Islamic Emirate took over, upgraded to 90 beds, and chest and heart services are provided there for the people”, Karimi said.

Heart disease is a leading cause of death disease and people suffering from this disease went to foreign countries for treatment in the past years.

But now heart disease is diagnosed and treated in public and private hospitals inside the country, according to the officials.

Translated by: Sadaf Yarmal

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