Lifestyle disorders and depression form a two-way street

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Follow the formula of 80 to prevent diseases and live healthy

New Delhi, 11th April 2019: Patients with heart diseases often experience difficulty in thinking and likely suffer depression, a new study has found. The circadian mechanism influences neural effects of heart failure. Human patients with heart failure often have neurological conditions such as cognitive impairment and depression. Though there is no cure for the heart condition, understanding how the circadian mechanism works in the brain may lead to new strategies to improve patients’ quality of life.

As per another study, severely mentally ill people are more than three times as likely to die from coronary heart disease and stroke than those not suffering from mental illness. Mental illness more than doubled the risk of dying from heart disease for people up to age 75. The risk of dying from heart disease was even higher among those taking antipsychotic medications.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “Depression, severe mental illness and loneliness are linked to heart disease and dementia. There is correlation between depression and hardening of the arteries. The arteries of those who are most depressed are narrowed twice as much as those who are least depressed. Hardening of the arteries is a precursor to a heart attack or stroke. Depression may also upset the body’s regulation of glands that release chemicals governing energy level and growth and alter the functioning of cells responsible for blood clotting. Hardening of the arteries leads to an overreaction of the immune system and the resulting inflammation is known to release chemicals that can cause the diseases.”

Negative stress is more dangerous than positive stress and it is jealousy, anger and cynicism which are associated with heart attack. The answer lies in managing stress by acting on a personal situation and not reacting to it. In children the same type of stress, especially during exam days, can end up with anxiety, insomnia and suicidal attempts.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor-in-Chief 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.

Madras High Court issued guidelines for curbing sexual harassment in educational institutions

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In an unexpected turn of events, a plea made against the transfer of a government school teacher has prompted the Madras High Court to direct the creation of a toll-free number to report instances of sexual harassment and indiscipline by teachers in state educational institutions.

Further, Justice SM Subramaniam has also ordered that government school teachers be warned by the state of disciplinary action if they conduct private tuitions beyond school hours, whether on a working day or holidays. The judge opined,

“Conducting Tuition classes after the School hours are the acts, which all are unbecoming of a public servant and furthermore, they are taking such Tuitions / Tutorial classes for monetary benefits. Thus, all those activities of the Teachers across the State are to be monitored and suitable actions are to be initiated. “

The observation was made in the backdrop of a bar on private employment under Rule 8 of the Tamil Nadu Government Servants Conduct Rules. In view of the same, the Court remarked,

“It is most unfortunate to state that these Teachers are soliciting the students to join the Tuition classes at their home or in the place organized by such Teachers. The students, after School hours, are sometimes forced to attend the Tuition classes. Taking of Tuition after School hours is also a misconduct. Public servant must show devotion to his duty…”

Terming the same as a form of indiscipline, the Court has suggested that such actions also be reported using the toll-free number that the government has been directed to set up. This number may also be used to make complaints regarding sexual harassment and other issues being faced within schools.  As noted in the order,

This Court, with great pain, records that growing instances of Sexual Harassment in Schools, Colleges and Universities are causing greatest concern both to the parents as well as to the society at large… The activities in the Schools are not only to be monitored by the educational authorities, but also, to be monitored by the parents and all other interested persons.

If any such incidences are noticed, then the parents, public, students must be in a position to immediately register a complaint in a Toll Free Telephone Number, which is to be provided by the Education Department of the State. In the event of receiving any such complaint from any person, the authorities must immediately conduct an enquiry and find out the truth regarding the complaint. Such a system requires an immediate implementation in order to create awareness in the minds of the students, parents and public at large.”

While observing that teaching is a noble public service, the Court also proceeded to castigate the inclination of teachers to engage in public agitations. Justice Subramaniam opined that such activities should be viewed seriously by the authorities.

These Teachers sometimes conducting agitations, Dharnas during the eve of public examinations in order to threaten the “State Government” as well as the public. Such activities of the Teachers are to be viewed seriously and constant actions in this regard are to be taken by the competent authorities. There cannot be any leniency or misplaced sympathy in respect of such activities, causing great damage to the society at large as well as affecting the developments of our great Nation through the young minds.

In view of the above observations, the Court proceeded to issue the following directions to the state,

  • Provide Toll Free Telephone Numbers within eight weeks to enable students, parents, interested persons, and public, in general, to register complaints regarding the indiscipline, illegal activities, irregularities, Sexual Harassment etc., and also in respect of the conduct of private trade business or Tuitions or Tutorial classes by the Teachers or authorities of the Education Department.
  • Display the said Toll-Free Telephone Numbers and the details of the authorities in the Notice Board of all the Schools, Educational institutions across the State of Tamil Nadu prominently for public awareness
  • Complaints registered through the Toll-Free Telephone Numbers should be attended to immediately and response action should be initiated within 24 hours from the time of registering the complaint.
  • Issue circulars to all Educational Institutions, Schools etc. stating that the Teachers and the public servants should not be involved in the conduct of private tuition classes or private trade, highlighting that engagement in such activity already constitutes misconduct under the Tamil Nadu Governments Conduct Rules.

The main petition was dismissed after the Court took note that the transfer being challenged would not affect the service conditions or the normal life of the petitioner. The petitioner, in this case, was transferred to a school that was two kilometres away, on the request of the fourth respondent in the case, another school employee. On suspecting that the “frivolous’ petition may have been filed to politicise the issue, as an offshoot of personal animosity, the Court also directed the petitioner and the fourth respondent to plant 50 saplings within their school campus within two weeks.

In doing so, the Court also reiterated that transfer orders cannot be challenged in a routine manner, unless there is a statutory violation, or if there is ill intent or arbitrariness involved. As noted in the order,

Judicial review against the order of transfer is certainly limited. An order of transfer can be challenged, if the same is issued by an incompetent authority, having no jurisdiction or an allegation of mala fides are raised or if the same is in violation of the statutory rules in force. Even, in case of raising an allegation of mala fides, the authority against whom such an allegation is raised, to be impleaded as a party respondent in the writ proceedings in his personal capacity. In the absence of any one of these legal grounds, no writ petition can be entertained against an order of transfer in a routine manner.”

(Source: BarandBench)

Dr KK Aggarwal

Padma Shri Awardee

President Elect Confederation of Medical Associations in Asia and Oceania   (CMAAO)

Group Editor-in-Chief IJCP Publications

President Heart Care Foundation of India

Past National President IMA