Both active and passive smoking are major risk factors for hypertension: HCFI

Health Care, Heart Care Foundation of India Comments Off

High blood pressure can lead to several health complications and even premature death

New Delhi, 15th May 2019: Recent research has suggested that passive smoking at home or work is linked with a 13% increased risk of hypertension. Living with a smoker after age 20 may be associated with a 15% greater risk. Exposure to passive smoking can lead to hypertension over time with men and women equally affected.

High blood pressure accounts for almost 10 million deaths around the world. The need of the hour is to raise awareness on the fact that smoking is a leading risk factor for this condition and therefore, it is imperative to quit the habit at the earliest. There is a need to stay away from secondhand smoke, and not just reduce exposure, to prevent hypertension.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “Smoking can raise blood pressure by as much as 10 mmHg especially in susceptible individuals. The effect is most prominent with the first cigarette of the day in habitual smokers. High blood pressure imposes an up-front burden in people who know they have it and who are working to control it. Apart from adding to health woes, it alters what you eat and how active you are, since lifestyle changes are important in keeping blood pressure under check. Some people need medication and may need to take one or more pills a day, which can prove costly. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to heart attack or stroke, aneurysm, heart failure, organ malfunction, vision loss, metabolic syndrome and memory problems.”

Hypertension is defined as a repeatedly elevated blood pressure exceeding 140/90 mmHg. It generally doesn’t cause any outward signs or symptoms but silently damages blood vessels, and other organs.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor-in-Chief of IJCP, said, “It is recommend for everyone to get an annual checkup after the age of 30 even in the absence of a no family history of hypertension, diabetes or heart disease.

The old saying ‘prevention is better than cure’ holds true today more than ever. To live above the age of 80, one needs to maintain ideal health parameters and lead an ideal lifestyle. The HCFI Formula of 80 describes certain preventive measures that can be undertaken.

  • Keep your lower BP, fasting sugar, waist circumference, resting heart rate and low- density lipoprotein LDL or the ‘bad’ cholesterol levels all <80.
  • Walk 80 minutes a day; brisk walk 80 minutes a week with a speed of 80 (at least) steps per minute.
  • Keep kidney and lung function more than 80%.
  • Eat less; not more than 80 g/80 mL of caloric food in one meal. Do not eat refined carbohydrates 80 days in a year.
  • Take vitamin D through sunlight 80 days in a year.
  • Do not drink alcohol and if you drink, take less than 80 mL of whiskey (80 proof 40% alcohol) in a day or less than 80 g (240 mL) of whiskey in a week.
  • Do 80 cycles of Pranayama in a day with a speed of 4 breaths/minute.
  • Do not smoke or be ready for heart surgery costing Rs. 80,000/-. Donate blood 80 times in a lifetime.
  • Avoid exposure to >80 dB of noise pollution.

Delhi State Consumer Commission directed the hospital to pay 20 lakh to a man who lost his pregnant wife and unborn child due to medical negligence

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Hospitals need to show a human touch, a duty ought to be followed and implemented- Delhi State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission said while granting compensation to a man, who had lost his pregnant wife and unborn child to medical negligence a decade ago.

The consumer body asked a city hospital to pay Rs 20 lakh fine for the grief, suffering and mental agony faced by the man, Yogesh Watwani, and his two children.

Commission member Anil Srivastava said the woman was left unattended given that emergency is an inevitable consequence in a labour room. “Patient… was virtually left unattended establishing prima facie negligence on the part of the treating doctor. Secondly, the hospital — considered to be well-equipped to meet any untoward situation — could not arrange an anaesthetist when required the most..,” he said.

Watwani’s wife was nine-month pregnant when she was taken to Holy Angels Hospital. Before that she was regularly going to the hospital for checkups. Dolly was perfectly “hale and hearty” as she went to the hospital on November 7, Watwani said. She was put on medication after being brought to the labour room under the supervision of Dr Jayashree Aggarwal.

At around 4pm the doctor examined her and found her to be bleeding. There were blood stains on her bed-sheet. Watwani said that the doctor, however, decided to wait for a couple of hours before carrying out a caesarian procedure on his wife. The doctor then left the hospital. At 4.50pm, Dolly complained of breathing trouble, the commission was told. On not finding anyone to attend to his wife, Watwani screamed for help. “Even then the nurse took some time to respond,” he said in his complaint.

While the doctor took 20 minutes to reach the hospital, the absence of an anaesthetist only added to the worsening condition of the woman. And before any steps could be taken for her treatment, she died.

The hospital and the doctor, meanwhile, denied Watwani’s contentions, arguing Dr Aggarwal was highly qualified and adept to deal with any critical situation.

The commission, however, pointed out that the doctor while leaving the hospital had not briefed anyone about what to deal with any emergency. “Non-availability of oxygen cylinder in the hospital needed urgently for the patient when required the most, aggravates the negligence. These facts very significantly lead to a conclusion that negligence on the part of the hospital is writ large on the face,” Srivastava held. [Source:]


The above case falls under the purview of Consumer Protection Act (CPA) as there is deficiency of service in treating the patient and the husband of the patient is entitled for compensation.
Non availability of an oxygen cylinder is deficiency of service as it is the responsibility of the hospital / nursing home to have oxygen cylinders with them at all time.
Non availability of anesthetist may not be a deficiency as long as they are on panel and are easily available on call.
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