- Gurgaon topped air pollution charts among major cities, recording 434µg/m³ PM2.5against the accepted permissible limit of 60 µg/m³.
- With around 5 to 3 lakh people suffer from heart diseases in Gurgaon, doctors warn against negative effects of air pollution on heart health.
Gurgaon, 29th September: India’s millennium city, Gurgaon, keeps resurfacing as one of the most polluted cities in India. In a survey of 28 cities conducted by the country’s top pollution monitoring city earlier this year, Gurgaon is the only city which was marked ‘severe’ for air pollution, in comparison to other cities like Agra, Delhi, and Kanpur.
The Central Pollution Control Board’s (CPCB) findings recorded 434micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m³) for finer particulate matter(PM2.5)against the accepted permissible limit of 60 µg/m³. The air pollutant PM2.5 refers to tiny particles with a diameter of 2.5 micrometers or less, which travel deep in our respiratory tract, causing breathing problems and worsening conditions like Asthma.
However, recent findings have indicated growing connection between air pollution and cardiovascular or heart health of people and Gurgaon has around 2.5 to 3 lakh people suffering from cardiovascular diseases, with its incidence on the rise.
Dr. D. K. Jhamb, Director & HOD Cardiology, Paras Hospitals Gurgaon said,“I have been attending to 40 to 50 heart patients at a daily level and collectively we perform around 140 angioplasties every month at our hospital. It has been observed that air pollution is significantly contributing to worsening of cardiovascular health as has been reported in recent studies. Particulate matter and nitrogen oxides have long-term adverse effects on your heart. Along with other lifestyle factors, pollution is now believed to play a significant role in proving harmful for your heart. Pollution is our collective responsibility and we have ways and means for reducing levels for instance by reducing vehicular emissions.”
While pollution extends its fangs to the heart directly, factors such as obesity, blood sugar levels, lack of physical activity, and hypertension continue to put human heart and health into major risk. As per the findings of a national survey conducted for family health released recently, approximately 39% of people are obese, 21% are with high to very high levels of blood glucose, and 22% with hypertension.
Dr. Bharat Kukreti, Senior Consultant –Cardiology, Paras Hospitals, Gurgaon explains, “Cardiovascular diseases and other non-communicable diseases thrive in the conditions provided by the modern sedentary lifestyle, with less physical activity and more dependence on unbalanced and processed food with high salt, sugar, and fat content. These are the major causes of heart ailments and other non-communicable diseases like hypertension and diabetes which can be controlled. Importance of physical exercise cannot be ignored, and to engage in an intense physical activity on a daily basis for even 1hour has proven to reduce the risk for heart diseases by 30%. Also, increasing physical activity helps in preventing and managing diabetes and hypertension. ”
While state and people need to come together to control pollution and decrease vehicular emission which is considered to be a major factor in the city’s growing pollution levels, lifestyle factors and dietary choices are more in the control of the individual.
With non communicable diseases reportedly killing 61% of Indian population as reported by World Health Organization, it is increasing becoming vital to have an active lifestyle with plenty of exercise and fresh air, followed by healthy dietary habits, which includes avoiding food with high fat, sugar, and salt content and increasing intake of more vegetables, fruits, and fiber.
People and healthcare providers of the city need take up the challenge and set examples for the nation by creating a healthy and hearty millennium city.