What does Health Promotion and Quality of Life mean?

Promoting health means planning, executing and evaluating a set of actions, policies, projects and programs that, based on the social determinants of health (environmental, social, economic, cultural, ethnic-racial, psychological, behavioral factors), impact the quality of life, health or illness of the population. Quality of life encompasses subjective factors, which depend on the perception of each individual and are also multidimensional, as they affect different aspects of life.

Public Policies and Quality of life

The Unified Health System (SUS) is recognized by the World Health Organization as the largest public health system on the planet, which offers care to Brazilians from prenatal care to free medication for people who need treatment. However, when the concept of quality of life encompasses different factors, it is necessary to consider other public policies such as transportation, labor rights, access to drinking water and sanitation, access to healthy food, income, housing, education, culture and many other aspects.
When life has no quality, illness occurs.
Between 2019 and 2021, there was a 41% increase in deaths from hypertension in Brazil, according to the report “Evolution of Cardiovascular Mortality in Women”, by the Cardiovascular Health Observatory of the National Institute of Cardiology (INC), linked to the Ministry of Health In 2020 and 2021, the disease was the fifth most frequent cause of death among the female population, surpassing breast cancer and stroke. Hypertension can lead to death from acute heart failure, pulmonary or cerebral edema, for example. Unlike many other cardiovascular diseases, death from hypertension is more frequent among women and its incidence and mortality are strongly associated with age.

What are cardiovascular diseases?

According to the Pan American Health Organization – PAHO, cardiovascular diseases are a group of diseases of the heart and blood vessels and include:

  • Coronary heart disease – disease of the blood vessels supplying the heart muscle;
  • Cerebrovascular disease – disease of the blood vessels that supply the brain;
  • Peripheral arterial disease – disease of the blood vessels that supply the upper and lower limbs;
  • Rheumatic heart disease – damage to the heart muscle and heart valves due to rheumatic fever, caused by streptococcal bacteria;
  • Congenital heart disease – malformations in the structure of the heart existing from the moment of birth;
  • Deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism – blood clots in the leg veins, which can become dislodged and move to the heart and lungs.
What are the main risk factors?

History of heart disease in the family, age and sex are some factors observed in the predominance of risk factors. But beyond them, there are issues related to eating habits, obesity, stress, cholesterol and high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes that can also increase the risk of heart disease.
How to prevent or mitigate risks?
Healthy eating with little salt, physical exercise, reducing stress levels, avoiding processed foods, smoking and excess alcohol are some of the measures that can help prevent heart disease.

How does Instituto Dara deal with the issue with the assisted families?

Families joinenter the Dara Institute through referrals from institutions such as public hospitals or Social Assistance Reference Centers – CRAS, always based on an analysis of the child’s situation. And it is from the child’s health that the family and guardians are involved in the collaborative construction of the Family Action Plan, which involves a systemic approach in the areas of health, education, housing, income and citizenship. During care, the Health team, based on an anamnesis and blood pressure measurement of family members or guardians, identifies cases of high blood pressure. In identified cases, there is monthly follow-up and guidance on nutrition, physical exercise, healthy diet and medication adjustments for specific cases, when there is no adequate control. Among the assisted families identified with risk factors for cardiovascular diseases, factors such as obesity, overweight and hypertension predominate.