Exposure to environmental toxins can cause heart diseases in the longerterm

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

Heart disease is emerging as the number one killer in India

New Delhi, 31 August 2018: Exposure to environmental toxic metals such as arsenic, lead, copper and cadmium are linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease, as per recent research. Exposure to arsenic was found to be significantly associated with a 23% greater relative risk of coronary heart disease and a 30% greater relative risk of composite cardiovascular disease.

Estimates indicate that India will soon have the highest number of heart disease cases in the world. About 50% of all heart attacks in Indians occur under 50 years of age and 25% in Indians under 40 years of age. Population living in the cities is three times more prone to heart attacks than people living in villages.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “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 Vice President of CMAAO, 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.”

Heart disease will be one of the primary points of discussion at the 25th MTNL Perfect Health Mela to be held between 24th and 28th October 2018 at the Talkatora Indoor Stadium, New Delhi.

Formula of 80 to live up to 80

  • 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

Supreme Court has stayed the judgment of Delhi High Court on inclusion of genetic disorders in insurance policy

Health Care Comments Off

In February this year, the Delhi High Court in the case of M/S United India Insurance Company Limited v. Jai Parkash Tayal (RFA 610/2016 & CM Nos.45832/2017) dated 26th February, 2018 had directed Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India (IRDA) “to re-look at the Exclusionary clauses in insurance contracts and ensure that insurance companies do not reject claims on the basis of exclusions relating to genetic disorders.”

The Delhi High Court had held that “a person, suffering from a genetic disorder, needs medical insurance as much as others” and concluded its judgement with the following statements:

However, vide an order dated 27.08.2018, the Hon’ble 3 Judges Bench of Supreme Court of India has partially stayed the above judgment in “The United India Insurance Co. Ltd. Versus Jay Prakash Tayal, SLP(c) No. 29590/2018” passed by the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi.

The stay order extends to following issues:

Right to avail health insurance is an integral part of the Right to Healthcare and the Right to Health, as recognised in Art. 21 of the Constitution
Discrimination in health insurance against individuals based on their genetic disposition or genetic heritage, in the absence of appropriate genetic testing and laying down of intelligible differentia, is Unconstitutional;
The broad exclusion of genetic disorders is thus not merely a contractual issue between the insurance company and the insured but spills into the broader canvas of Right to Health. There appears to be an urgent need to frame a proper framework to prevent against genetic discrimination as also to protect collection, preservation and confidentiality of genetic data. Insurance companies are free to structure their contracts based on reasonable and intelligible factors which should not be arbitrary and in any case cannot be exclusionary. Such contracts have to be based on empirical testing and data and cannot be simply on the basis of subjective or vague factors. It is for lawmakers to take the necessary steps in this regard.
The Exclusionary clause of genetic disorders, in the insurance policy, is too broad, ambiguous and discriminatory hence violative of Art. 14 of the Constitution of India;
Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India (IRDA) is directed to re-look at the Exclusionary clauses in insurance contracts and ensure that insurance companies do not reject claims on the basis of exclusions relating to genetic disorders.
Dr KK Aggarwal

Padma Shri Awardee

Vice President CMAAO

Group Editor-in-Chief IJCP Publications

President Heart Care Foundation of India

Immediate Past National President IMA

Universal mental health is a justiciable right now

Health Care, Heart Care Foundation of India Comments Off

There is still an urgent need to remove the stigma associated with mental illnesses

New Delhi, 30 August 2018: For the first time in India, universal mental health care is now a justiciable right following the enforcement of the Mental Healthcare Act (MHCA), 2017. As a watershed moment for the right to health movement in India, it is also for the first time that the law has recognized the right to access health care for citizens — and specifically for mental health.

There are about 150 million people in India needing mental health care and treatment, of which no less than 105 million lack access. Stigmatization and discrimination are serious causes of concern, with numerous documented cases of human rights violations as a result poor quality of mental health care, forced admissions in mental health hospitals, and a denial of socio-economic rights.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “Depression is a major public health problem as a leading predictor of functional disability and mortality. All depressed patients must be enquired specifically about suicidal ideations. Suicidal ideation is a medical emergency. Risk factors include psychiatric known disorders, medical illness, prior history of suicidal attempts, or family history of attempted suicide. The risk of suicide increases with increase in age; however, younger and adolescents attempt suicide more than the older. Females attempt suicide more frequently than males, but males are successful three times more often. The highest suicidal rate is amongst those individuals who are unmarried followed by widowed, separated, divorced, married without children and married with children in descending order. Living alone increases the risk of suicide.”

In those people where the sympathetic nervous system is dominant, there is a feeling of nervousness, jitteriness or tension. When a person is depressed, there is a disconnect between his physical and mental health.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor-in-Chief of IJCP, said, “Quantum physics explains that the mechanism of depression and anxiety can be an imbalance between understanding the way particle duality functions. Balancing this can further help in treating depression and other such mental disorders. The parasympathetic nervous system plays a vital role in maintaining both mental and physical health by helping the body to calm down from stress reactions that elevate blood pressure, dilate the pupils, and divert energy from other body processes to fighting or fleeing.”

Some tips from HFCI

Include foods that support your system Consume a diet based on whole foods. This includes green leafy vegetables, quality protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates.

Hydrate the body adequately staying hydrated will help the lymphatic system flush out toxins and remove the metabolic waste out of the body. This is essential to detoxify, nourish, and regenerate tissue.

Include some physical activity Exercise is positive physiological stress for the body. Yoga, for example, is known to accrue great benefits to both the mind and body.

Practice mindfulness this includes a combination of practices, habits, thoughts, and behaviors to help you get through your daily life. Mindfulness means intentionally and actively seeking to lower the body’s response to stress.

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