San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Costa Ricans, Watch Your Hearts!

A Costa Rican becomes a victim of heart failure every 27 minutes, making cardiovascular ailments the primary cause of death in the country, the daily Al Día reported.According to cardiologist Juan Carlos Elizondo, from Clínica Bíblica, a private hospital in downtown San José, bad eating habits, a lack of exercise, stress, cigarettes, and excessive alcohol intake are hastening Costa Ricans to their graves. Those same factors have induced a rise in the number of young Costa Ricans who suffer from heart problems, according to the daily. Ricardo Fernández, cardiologist at the public Hospital Calderón Guardia, also in San José, said Costa Ricans urgently need to be taught to lead healthier lives.Quitting smoking, exercising a minimum of half an hour three times a week, controlling stress, eating plenty of fruits, vegetables and fiber and reducing alcohol intake could prevent potential heart patients from becoming one of the 80% of Costa Ricans who will die of cardiovascular troubles, Al Día reported.

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