Young Indians below the age of 40 are succumbing to heart diseases

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

On World Heart Day, it is imperative to raise awareness on understanding the warning signs and adopting a better lifestyle

Delhi, September 28, 2019: Young Indians are increasingly falling prey to heart diseases and there are about two million cases of heart attacks in a year alone in the country. Estimates indicate that about 50% of heart attacks occur in men less than 50 years of age and another 25% in those who are below the age of 40. On World Heart Day, there is a need to raise awareness on the fact that one must not ignore the first onset of acidity after the age of 40 and any other symptoms.

Indigestion/acidity, persistent cough, shortness of breath, constipation, fever, headache, and tiredness all the time are some common symptoms which many people ignore as normal. However, these are signs that the body gives out indicating some underlying condition. The first onset of acidity after age 40 could indicate an impending heart attack.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) & President CMAAO, said, “One should not ignore warning signals after the age of 40 as ‘time is life’ in medical science. The three cardinal warning signals are: anything which is unusual, anything which cannot be explained and any symptom appearing for the first time in life. Time is life is an old saying and in the event of a heart attack, time is muscle. In emergency medicine, the golden hour refers to the first hour following traumatic injury being sustained by a casualty, during which there is the highest likelihood that prompt medical treatment will prevent death. The platinum ten minutes refer to the first ten minutes after trauma and the importance of starting first aid within ten minutes to reduce the chances of death.”

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, said, “The risk of heart attack can be reduced by controlling the risk factors; eating a heart healthy diet; smoking cessation; reduced consumption of alcohol, salt and sugar; controlling hypertension and adequate amounts of physical activity. These are within our control and must be followed from a young age. However, cardiac arrest stems from electrical issues in heart that are beyond our control but following a general heart healthy lifestyle is known to reduce future risk. As doctors, it falls upon us to educate our patients and make them aware of ways to live a healthy lifestyle.”

Rules for preventing heart attack related deaths

  • Rule of 30 seconds: Chest pain, burning, discomfort, heaviness in the center of the chest lasting for over 30 seconds and not localized to a point unless proved otherwise is a heat pain.
  • Rule of pinpointing finger: Any chest pain which can be pinpointed by a finger is not a heart pain.
  • Rule of 40: First-onset acidity or first-onset asthma after the age of 40, rule out heart attack or heart asthma first
  • Rule of 300: Chew a tablet of water-soluble 300 mg aspirin and take 300 mg clopidogrel tablet at the onset of cardiac chest pain. You will not die.
  • Rule of 10: Within 10 minutes of death for the next 10 minutes do effective chest compression with a speed of (10 x10) 100 per minute. Most people can be saved.
  • Rule of 180: Reach hospital within 180 minutes in heart attack to receive clot dissolving angioplasty or clot dissolving drugs.

Regular consumption of energy drinks can be fatal to the heart: HCFI

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

Substances such as caffeine and taurine present in these drinks can lead to arrythmia

New Delhi, 1 June 2019: Consuming too many energy drinks in a short span of time may increase blood pressure and disrupt heart rhythm, a study has found. Energy drinks are readily accessible and commonly consumed by teens and young adults. The need of the hour is to make people aware of the impact of energy drinks on their body especially if they have other underlying health conditions.

Energy drinks contain high levels of caffeine, taurine, and other stimulating substances, and their safety has always been debated. These drinks may increase the risk of sudden cardiac death due to increase in BP and prolonged QT interval, which can lead to life-threatening arrhythmia.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “Having more than two energy drinks may harm the heart and cause conditions like arrythmia or abnormal heart rhythm. This is characterized by either very fast or very slow heart rates. It can lead to inadequate blood supply to various vital organs of the body. Arrythmia usually occurs in a diseased heart and may be often overt or concealed. It is important to get timely checkups done in order to avoid detecting this condition at a later stage when it can become fatal to life.

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.”

The formula of 80 is as follows.

  • 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.

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.

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