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HEART BURN.

Byline: Dr Sarah Brewer

WE'VE given you four counters to cut out so that you can play with friends, but you can play alone, too. All you need is a dice.

There is a series of questions on the right and their numbers are linked to the picture hearts on the board. Roll a dice and if you land on a picture heart, you have to answer that question. Your answer will determine whether or not you advance towards the 100 mark.

We hope that the results help remind you about the factors which are important for good heart health ... but above all, it's a game for fun.

HERE ARE YOUR QUESTIONS

Q4: Put the two first fingers of your left hand on to the inside of your right wrist. Can you feel a pulse?

A. Yes (Congratulations, you're alive. Go forward 1)

B. No (You're in trouble. Stay where you are.)

Q8: How many portions of fruit and vegetables do you eat per day?

A. 0-2 servings (Go back 5)

B. 3-4 servings (stay still)

C. 5 or more (Go forward 5. Fruit and vegetables contain vitamins that protect against heart disease)

Q12: Which of the following do you prefer?

A. White bread (Stay still)

B. Wholemeal Bread - it's full of complex carbohydrate, fibre, minerals and vitamins (Go forward 3)

Q16: How competitive are you?

A. Highly - I strive to get ahead all the time (Go back 5. You are a Type-A personality and generate a lot of internal tension to increase your risk of a heart attack)

B. Not too much - I'm usually relaxed. (Go forward 5. You are a Type-B personality who gets on with life in an efficient, calm and stress-free way.)

C. I can get worked up about some things, but not others (Stay still)

Q20: How often do you eat fresh fish?

A. At least three times per week, especially oily fish. It is steamed, poached or grilled, never fried. (Go forward 4. Fish oils can thin the blood, lower blood pressure and reduce your risk of a fatal heart attack by a third if you have heart disease.)

B. Once or twice per week - usually pre-packed, breaded cod or other white fish. (Stay still)

C. I never miss my fish supper from the chippie on Saturdays. Beats cooking it at home. (Go back 4 )

Q24: When is salt usually added to your food:

A. During cooking and at the table. (Go back 5)

B. During cooking only (Stay still)

C. Hardly at all - I use fresh herbs to flavour my food instead. (Go forward 5. Excess salt is bad for the heart. If everyone reduced the amount of salt in their diet, at least one in seven heart attacks would be prevented)

Q28: If you are overweight, where do you store your spare tyre?

A. Around my waist. (Go back 5. Those with weight around their waist are twice as likely to have a heart attack than those with weight on their hips)

B. Around my hips - I'm a classic pear shape (Go back 2. That spare tyre needs to go)

C. I'm not overweight (Go forward 2)

Q32: Do you regularly experience tight chest pains on exercise?

A. Not at all. (Go forward 5)

B. Yes, but I've never bothered to see my doctor (Go back 5. You could have angina. Go for a check-up)

C. Yes - I have had angina in the past but I'm on medication and it is well controlled (Go back 2)

Q36: Which of the following lunches would you prefer?

A. Wholemeal pasta with a tomato & basil sauce, a mixed salad with fresh lemon juice dressing and a scattering of mixed seeds (Go forward 3. This is a balanced Mediterranean-style meal with antioxidants)

B. Roast beef, roast potatoes and two veg - though I would probably go without Yorkshire Pud (Stay still, Fat and calorie content may be high, but the two veg are good for your heart)

C. Pork pie, chips and mayonnaise (Go back 4. The fat and calorie content are far too high)

Q40: Which of the following snacks do you prefer?

A. 1 or 2 digestive biscuits (Stay still)

B. Bag of crisps or a piece of chocolate (Go back 2)

C. Piece of fruit (Go forward 4)

Q44: Which type of milk do you use?

A. Full-fat milk - and we use fresh double or clotted cream most days. (Go back 2)

B. Semi-skimmed milk and we occasionally have cream as a treat (Stay still)

C. Only semi-skimmed or skimmed milk. We hardly ever use cream. (Go forward 2. Semi and skimmed contain as much calcium, but less saturated fat)

Q48: How much exercise do you take per week?

A. I walk around my desk at work (Go back 5)

B. We go for a family walk at weekends. (Go back 1)

C. At least 20 minutes brisk exercise, five times per week (Go forward 5 - you are half as likely to have a heart attack than those who are physically inactive)

Q52: Do you regularly get pains in the calves when walking?

A. Yes - sometimes I can't walk more than a few yards without having to stop and rest (Go back 4. If you have hardening and furring up of the arteries in your legs, your coronary arteries could also be affected)

B. I have had calf pains, but my doctor checked my leg pulses which are fine (Stay still)

C. Not at all (Go forward 4)

Q56: How many units of alcohol do you drink per week?

A. More than 14 units per week (females) or more than 21 (males). I drink every night with binges at weekends (Go back 5. If you regularly drink more than 6 units in one session, your risk of a heart attack doubles)

B. Less than 14 units per week (females) or less than 21 (males) with some alcohol-free nights and no binges (Go forward 5. A moderate alcohol intake - especially red wine - can reduce your risk of heart disease by 25-45per cent)

C. I'm teetotal and never touch the stuff. (Stay still. Although excess alcohol is harmful, a low intake, especially of red wine, may help to protect against heart disease)

Q60: How's your weight?

A. About a stone over my ideal. I'm still trying to lose it. (Stay still. Getting down to a healthy weight can reduce your risk of a heart attack by 35-55 per cent)

B. More than two or three stone overweight - I can't seem to shift it. (Go back 5. Those who are overweight are one-and-a-half times more likely to have a heart attack than someone who maintains a healthy weight. If you are obese, your risk is doubled - especially if you store excess fat around your middle)

C. I'm not overweight - I eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly and always watch my weight (Go forward 5)

Q64: How much do you smoke?

A. At least 20 a day (Go back 5. Smokers are five times more likely to have a heart attack in their 30s and 40s than non-smokers)

B. Up to 10 cigarettes per day, usually socially. I'm trying to cut down (Go back 3)

C. I gave up over a year ago (Stay still. Stopping smoking can reduce your risk of a heart attack by as much as 50-70 per cent within 5 years)

D. I've never smoked. (Go forward 5)

Q68: How often do you go a whole day without eating meat?

A. Never (Go back 3)

B. At least once or twice per week (Go forward 3. Vegetarian days help to keep fat intake down and keep the circulation healthy)

C. Only if we forget to defrost the meat. (Stay still)

Q72: When did you last have a health screen?

A. What's that? (Go back 4)

B. I go to a well-person clinic every year and follow any health and lifestyle advice I'm given (Go forward 4)

C. I went last year and nothing was wrong - so I didn't need to go back this year. (Go back 1)

Q76: Do you know what your blood pressure is?

A. It's high, and I keep forgetting to take my medicine (Go back 5. If your BP is high and poorly controlled, your risk of a future heart attack is high)

B. It's low or normal and I'm on medication and my doctor is happy that it is well controlled. (Go forward 3)

C. What's blood pressure? (Go back 1 - it's important to know if your blood pressure is okay)

Q80: Have you had your urine checked for glucose in the last year or two?

A. No, Why? (Go back 2).

B. Yes and it's normal (Go forward 2)

C. Yes, I have diabetes but it's well controlled (Stay still. If you have diabetes, you can reduce your risk of a heart attack by keeping your blood sugar level within tight limits)

D. Yes, I have diabetes but can't be bothered to check it regularly. Following my healthy eating plan is hard. (Go back 5. A woman is 3 to 7 times more likely to have a heart attack if her blood sugar level is raised or poorly controlled. For a man, the risk is 2-3 times greater. Have your urine screened for glucose at least once a year.)

Q84: How many times per week do you eat peas, beans, nuts or seeds?

A. Two or three times per week (Go forward 1)

B. Hardly ever - they give me wind (Go back 2)

C. Almost every day - they're full of protein and fibre. (Go forward 2. These are a good source of plant hormones and keep the circulation healthy)

Q88: How much stress are you under?

A. Lots. I work long hours and worry about meeting deadlines. (Go back 5. When you are under excess stress, your blood pressure goes up by an amount equivalent to carrying an extra 40lbs in weight)

B. Just enough to keep me on my toes (Stay still)

Q92: Do you have a family or personal history of abnormally raised blood cholesterol levels?

A. Yes, but my cholesterol levels are normal or well-controlled (Stay still)

B. Yes, my cholesterol level is raised, but I can't do anything about it (Go back 5. Reducing abnormally raised blood cholesterol levels by just 10 per cent could prevent one in four heart attacks occurring)

Q96: Which of the following do you eat most of?

A. Chips, especially with mayo or curry sauce. (Go back 5. One in three heart attacks is due to an unhealthy diet with too much fat and not enough vegetables.)

B. Boiled or Baked potatoes. (Go forward 3. They're a good source of energy, vitamins and fibre)

C. Roast Potatoes, though I only have one or two and they're made with olive oil. (Stay still)

Q100: Do you take supplements, such as garlic powder tablets, vitamin E or antioxidants?

A. Yes (Go forward 5. Taking garlic tablets can reduce the risk of heart disease by up to 25 per cent, while those with high blood levels of the antioxidant vitamins C and E (usually through taking supplements) are three times less likely to have a heart attack than those with low levels)

B. No (Stay still)
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jun 13, 2001
Words:1874
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