Ian Graham, MD points to the Irish adaptation of American eating habits as a strong cause of heart disease in Ireland. Graham presented his views while at EuroPRevent 2012 opening presentation on "Ireland Day” at Trinity College in Dublin.

Peggy Peck from MedPage Today spoke with Dr. Graham about some of the current health issues plaguing Ireland, primarily being cardiovascular disease. Dr. Graham serves as chair for the Irish Heart Foundation Cardiovascular Prevention Council and is co-chair for EuroPRevent 2012, the annual meeting of the European Association for Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation (EACPR), representing over 2,200 health professionals.

Speaking with MedPage, Dr. Graham said that the “challenges are universal” when it comes to cardiovascular disease in that diet, exercise and genes all play a factor. However, with Ireland facing lowered rates of physical activity and heightened weight levels, the factors have become more risky for the Irish population.

Dr. Graham points to the US as the cause of the Irish’s newly learned bad habits.

“We learned the Western way of death from the United States,” said Dr. Graham. “We’re learning how to overeat from the United States, we’re learning how to get fat from the United States.” He added that compounding the issue is that Ireland is now exporting these learned bad habits to Asia and the East.

Dr. Graham, however, is optimistic that with the upcoming Irish presidency of the European Union that there will be a large government push in cardiovascular health, and hopes that there will be more of a focus in the primary care field of medicine in raising awareness about cardiovascular care.

Here, listen to Dr. Graham discuss the health of Ireland:

Irish learned “the Western way of death” from USGoogle Images