Aggressive Awareness Campaign on 'World's Heart Day'

by Hannah Punitha on Sep 28 2008 2:53 PM

 Aggressive Awareness Campaign on
Heart disease and stroke are the world’s number one killer as it causes 17.5 millions deaths each year or more than one death every two seconds.
Risk for Youth

Experts believe that by 2010 India will on top of list of heart disease in the world and there will be a 200 percent increase in the heart disease among youngsters. The average age of a person suffering from a heart disease has now come down from 40 to 30years.

It is estimated that by the year 2025, more than 1.5 billion people, which is equivalent to our country’s population, or nearly one in three adults over the age of 25, will have high blood pressure, one of the biggest single risk factors for heart disease and stroke.

There are no usual or obvious symptoms of high blood pressure, and the only way to know is to visit your health-care professional for a check-up. This is why this year’s ’World Heart Day’ is urging people to take action and visit their health-care professional to "Know Your Risk!"

A WHO report states, heart disease and stroke causes 17.5 million deaths each year, as many deaths as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and diabetes plus all forms of cancer and chronic respiratory disease combined

"There is a need for every one of us to know if we are at risk. This can simply be done by going in for a health check which will indicate whether their blood pressure, cholesterol or glucose levels are at a dangerous level," says Dr. Atul Mathur, Director, Interventional Cardiology, Escorts Heart Institute and Research Centre.

It is very important for today’s generation to be aware of all the risk factors that affects their hearts. Apart from the general risk factors that are the family history, gender, there are other risk factors, which are related to their lifestyle.

These risk factors include life style related habits like smoking and drinking alcohol, which now have become a part of our life. Apart from this our changing food habits are also putting our heart at a risk these include eating oily and junk food without doing any proper exercise which leads to High blood pressure, high cholesterol level, obesity and can also lead to diabetes.

"Knowing one’s risks is important. So it is better to give awareness to public below the age of 30 because it is only before that age that youth pick up bad habits like smoking, drinking and intake of junk food, which are rich in cholesterol. All these habits leave a bad effect on the heart thus leading to the chances of heart attack in the later," said Dr. Rajneesh Kapoor, Senior Interventional Cardiologist, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals.

"Cardio-vascular disease risks in young can be corrected with a change in lifestyle, diet, exercise and medication if warranted. It also helps in the long run to prevent or lessen the progression of long-term cardiovascular disease," added Dr. Kapoor.

Heart attack usually starts with the pain in the chest, which lasts for more than few minutes. There are other factors also which include shortness of breath, nausea, coldness, vomiting, unexplained severe headache, pain in different parts of the body sweating, anxiousness and many more.

Know your risks

It is important for everyone to know their risk. Everyone should have a complete knowledge of history of family problems. Moreover it is also important for one to understand the causes of heart attack, the symptoms and also the tips to reduce heart attack. Know your risk and take effective steps to reduce these risks by not smoking, exercising regularly, eating a low-fat diet and, if necessary, taking medications that can lower cholesterol and blood pressure.

Risk factor 1: Smoking (Tobacco)

Smoking is one of the major factors for heart attack. Smokers have two-four times more risk of developing heart disease than non-smokers. Smoking leads to an increase in blood pressure and also the tendency for a blood clot. Smoking leads to a sudden death by patient of coronary heart disease. It not only increase your scope of heart disease but also people exposed to your smoke.

Smoking is among the leading causes of heart attacks under the age of 40. WHO estimates that globally 1.1 billion people smoke of which one-third are below the 16 years of age.

"Young people who smoke regularly continue to smoke throughout adulthood increasing their chances of serious heart disease, stroke and high BP," warns Dr. Mathur.

Risk factor 2: High cholesterol Level

High Cholesterol level put you at risk of heart disease. Cholesterol gets deposited in the arteries thus making it narrow and blocking the supply of oxygen to blood vessels. This increases the risk of heart disease. So it is important to substitute your junk food diet which is high on cholesterol to a diet which is rich in nutrients like fruits and green vegetables.

Risk Factor 3: Obesity

Excess body fat is also one of the major factors of heart disease. This body fat increases pressure on the heart and it also affects blood pressure and blood cholesterol. Healthy lifestyle habits, including healthy eating and physical activity, can lower the risk of becoming obese and developing related diseases.

Dr. Mathur advices, I ask my patients to avoid Mathur’s Ms - Malai, Makkhan, Mutton and Mithai to avoid visiting me.

Risk Factor 4: High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure increases work pressure on the heart. It causes inadequate circulation and weakens the heart. Moreover it also increases the risk of stroke or heart attack. So it is necessary to take proper medications along with a good diet and exercise routine.

Risk factor 5: Diabetes

According to World’s Diabetes Foundation, India has the largest population in the world living with diabetes - around 40 million people. People with diabetes are more likely to get heart disease. Researchers say that -- Diabetics are two to four times more likely than others to have a heart attack or a stroke - Diabetics have the same high risk for heart attack or stroke or cardiovascular death as people who’ve already had a heart attack- When people with diabetes do have heart attacks, they are twice as likely to die as non-diabetics

"Educating oneself about diabetes and how you can control it is an important step in preventing life-threatening complications," advices Dr. Kapoor.

Risk Factor 6: Drinking Alcohol

Alcohol affects the left ventricle of the heart that pumps blood in the body which leads to an increase in blood pressure and can lead to heart stroke or heart attack. The consumption of alcohol should be limited.

Risk factor 7: Increased Stress

Stress is one of the risk factors for heart disease. Stress leads to an increase in blood pressure. Stress can be caused by increased work pressure for performance, daily hassles, unemployment etc. Meditation, deep breathing, exercising, proper sleep and a positive attitude towards life helps in coping up with stress.

"Meditation, deep breathing, exercising, proper sleep and a positive attitude towards life helps in coping up with stress," advices Dr. Kapoor.

Women at equal risk as men

Research shows that not only men but also the women are at equal risk of getting a heart attack. World Heart Federation estimates - an average of more than 16 women per minute die of cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke. - heart disease is one of the major threats to a woman’s health, causing 1 out of 3 deaths in women compared to 1 among 30 for breast cancer- heart disease and stroke kills more women each year than cancer, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and malaria combined

Dr. Rajneesh Kapoor says, "Mostly women don’t realize that heart disease is a risk to their life as it is to men. Five to ten years after menopause, the risk of heart attack among women rises markedly. But still the awareness in women is deficient.

Risk for Youth

Experts believe that by 2010 India will on top of list of heart disease in the world and there will be a 200 percent increase in the heart disease among youngsters. The average age of a person suffering from a heart disease has now come down from 40 to 30years.

"Indians have a high susceptibility to heart disease which can be directly linked to the changing lifestyle, diet and genetic factors to a certain extent. The kind of lifestyle that school students, college students and working professionals have adopted like smoking, drinking and eating junk foods leads to an increase risk of heart disease. To top it, the pressure on youngster to perform leads to problem of stress at an early stage. More than 70 per cent deaths can be prevented with a change in the lifestyle habit," said Dr. Mathur. (ANI)


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