Not just metros, cardiovascular disease rates high in smaller towns like Darbhanga as well
Doctors at Paras Global Hospital, Darbhanga advocate need for preventive measures from early years
Cardiovascular disease is the single leading cause of deaths among Indians today, not just in metropolitan cities, but also in smaller towns and rural areas. With sedentary lifestyles, high intake of unhealthy fast food and lack of exercise prominent driving factors, increasing number of young patients in their 30s are also reporting heart attacks today.
At a press conference organized to commemorate World Heart Day, doctors at Paras Global Hospital, Darbhanga cautioned against dangerous lifestyle factors behind increasing threat of cardiovascular disease among young Indians.
Lifestyle habits such as over indulgence of fast foods, consumption of alcohol, smoking of cigarettes and hookahs, erratic lifestyles and sleeping patterns are quite common among the Indian youth today. Add to them the shrinking of physical activity and total sedentary ways of living and we have an emerging epidemic of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease among the young.
“Unfortunately, today we are seeing patients who are only in their 30s and hitherto considered too young to suffer from heart attacks. The factors responsible for this unhealthy trend are lifestyles that have dramatically changed from active to sedentary in the past two decades. Healthy habits such as walking or riding bicycles to college and work have receded even from smaller towns like Darbhanga. The problem is compounded due to lack of awareness about the need for healthy lifestyles, consumption of fast food, as well as high rates of tobacco intake and smoking,” said Dr.A.K.Gupta(Consultant-Non Invasive Cardiology)
Studies have concluded that a mammoth 10-11 % of India’s urban population while 8-9 % of the rural population suffers from coronary artery disease (CAD). Cardiovascular disease is today the single largest cause of deaths of Indians.
“Another important concern is the fact that most people do not know how to recognize a heart attack and many a time dismiss it as possible acid reflux. Often when young individuals experience chest pain or discomfort, they mistake it to be a case of acidity believing they are too young to suffer a heart attack. No chest pain or discomfort should be ignored, no matter how old you are,” adds Dr.Jyoti Prakash Karn(Consultant- Interventional Cardiology)
Apart from cigarettes, new age youth addictions like hookahs (which have made a glamorous comeback to society) is another threat to heart health. The World Health Organization (WHO) states that hookah harms your body more abrasively than cigarettes as its smoking sessions last much longer than a typical cigarette break. An hour-long hookah session typically involves about 200 puffs, compared to an average of 20 puffs per cigarette.
“Unlike two decades back when genetic predisposition was the most prominent risk factor for cardiovascular disease, today lifestyle habits have become the leading cause of heart disease. There is increasing incidence of hypertension, obesity as well as diabetes – all these conditions are themselves risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Nature of work is another emerging factor today. A major chunk of our urban youth population works on desk jobs. Apart from being totally sedentary in nature, offices are hotbeds of stress. Sleepless nights because of targets and deadlines mixed with nicotine, stress, junk food, sweet drinks, and lack of exercise are factors that makes an individual increasingly susceptible to heart disease and stroke,” added Dr.Amar Nath Shaw(Consultant- Cardiac Surgery)
Adopting healthy lifestyles including right diet, exercise and shunning bad habits like smoking and drinking is crucial to controlling the epidemic of heart disease in the country. At the same time controlling weight and indulging in at least 30 minutes of daily is very important.
Some Essential Tips:
- Do not ignore any chest pain or discomfort as it might be a heart attack. Getting help within the Golden Hour can help minimize the damage caused by heart attack and prevent potential heart failure later in life.
- Know your blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Basic tests every year are important. If you have a family history of diabetes or hypertension, you need to be doubly cautious as your risk for heart disease is higher than others.
- Eat a heart-healthy diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables in it.
- When offered sweets, take just one, no more. Avoid adding sugar in the main meal.
- Quit smoking today.
- Stress ages your heart. Stop over thinking and get sufficient sleep.
- Maintain active lifestyle always. Make sure you walk or exercise at least 30 minutes a day religiously. This helps prevent unnecessary weight gain and resultant coronary artery disease.
- Do not discontinue hypertension medication without the doctor’s advice
- In case of Heart Attack ,Shift the patient to nearest Hospital, equipped with PCI facility within Golden Period(2-4 hours).
- Do not waste Golden Period in calling your favorite doctor, Remember time is muscle & muscle is life.
- In case of Emergency, Contact Paras Global Hospital, Darbhanga @ 06272- 667788 number.