Heart diseases are steadily rising in India

Health Care, Heart Care Foundation of India, Medicine Comments Off

Most people with known risk factors take neither preventive action nor prescribed medication

New Delhi, 14th July 2018: Deaths due to cardiovascular diseases are on the rise in India, causing more than one quarter of all deaths in the country and affecting rural populations and young adults the most, says a new study published in The Lancet Global Health.

What is alarming is the finding that even though most deaths were among people with previously known cardiac disease, at least half were not taking any regular medications for the condition. In India, most deaths occur at home and without medical attention.

Deaths due to both stroke and heart attack need research and action in order to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of reducing cardiovascular mortality by 2030. To make progress at the global level, there is a need to first address this leading cause of mortality in India.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr K K Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “Cardiac diseases include coronary artery disease, heart attack, arrhythmias, heart failure, heart valve disease, congenital heart disease and cardiomyopathy, which are most common. Heart disease and other non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes, hypertension, cancer, and stroke are steadily on the rise and will soon take epidemic proportions. The urban population is three times more likely to have heart attacks than those living in rural areas. The reason for this can be attributed to stress, aberrant lifestyle, and hectic schedules that leave very little or no time for physical activity. In recent times, healthy looking adults present with cases of cardiac arrest, stroke and hypertension or were at risk of developing any of these disease at any point in their lives.”

Almost 80% to 90% of premature deaths that occur due to these NCDs in the country are preventable through regular screening, timely medical intervention, and proper disease management. Women especially need extra attention as the symptoms they present maybe entirely different to that of men.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor of IJCP, said, “There is a very small percentage of participant with favorable factors for not getting heart problems. This reiterates the need to adopt and maintain a healthy lifestyle to have a healthy heart and this should begin early on in life. As doctors, it falls upon us to educate our patients and make them aware of ways to live a healthy lifestyle to reduce the burden of disease in older age. I teach my patients the Formula of 80 to live up to the age of 80 years.”

•                    Keep lower blood pressure, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) ‘bad’ cholesterol, fasting sugar, resting heart rate and abdominal girth all below 80.

•                    Keep kidney and lung functions >80%.

•                    Engage in recommended amounts of physical activity (minimum 80 min of moderately strenuous exercise per week). Walk 80 min a day, brisk walk 80 min/week with a speed of at least 80 steps per min.

•                    Eat less and not >80 gm or mL of caloric food each meal.

•                    Take 80 mg atorvastatin for prevention, when prescribed.

•                    Keep noise levels below 80 dB.

•                    Keep particulate matter PM 2.5 and PM 10 levels below 80 mcg per cubic meter.

•                    Achieve 80% of target heart rate when doing heart conditioning exercise.