About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us

Clear Myths to Ensure a Healthy Heart

by Bidita Debnath on September 28, 2013 at 11:02 PM
Font : A-A+

 Clear Myths to Ensure a Healthy Heart

A source of information, or misinformation, can be anything - a commercial, something you had read "a long time back", a neighbour - but over time, it often becomes something we staunchly believe in.

Cardiologists say that in the process of treatment of many of their patients, they have to battle myths, some more common than others, which, if cleared, can go a long way in ensuring a healthy heart and a healthy future.


Among some of the most common myths related to heart care, according to renowned cardiologist Ashok Seth, is that all kinds of exercise is good for the cardiovascular system.

"A 45-minute brisk walk, or aerobic exercise is good for your heart. But weightlifting and gym exercises are not necessarily good for your cardiovascular health," Seth told IANS.

It's also a misconception that women are less prone to cardiovascular ailments.

"Cardiovascular disease is the biggest cause of death in women, six times more than breast cancer," Seth said. "But traditionally it's seen that in most Indian families this doesn't appear as a concern vis-a-vis a woman's health. If the man has a slight discomfort, they rush to the hospital, but the women, maybe because they have a high tolerance level, simply ignore any such discomfort".

"Even while going for health check-ups, a mammogram or a pap smear test is listed (to detect cancer), but not a heart check-up, which is very necessary," he added.

Agreed K.K. Talwar, cardiologist at Delhi's Max hospital. "Although women have the protection cover of the estrogen hormone, lifestyle habits like smoking, unhealthy eating habits and contraceptive pills make them prone (to heart ailments). And after menopause, the risk increases," Talwar said.

That the young cannot be affected by heart ailments is another myth, Talwar says.

"It's no longer true that only those in their 50s and 60s can have cardiovascular problems. Even those in their 30s are coming with such problems these days. In fact, because of lifestyle habits like junk food, alcohol consumption and smoking, plus stress, they are prone to acute heart attacks that can be fatal," he said.

According to Talwar, about 20 percent of heart attack patients in Max hospital are in the 30-40 age group. In the West this number is 5 to 10 percent lower because South Asians are more prone to cardiovascular problems at a younger age than their Western counterparts. "Five to seven percent of those who come for angiography are below the age of 35," Talwar told IANS.

It's not necessary that heart pain, indicating emergency, will be on the left side of the chest, Sunita Choudhury, another cardiologist, emphasised. "It may also be in the right arm, upper abdomen, and usually in the left arm," she said.

Much against TV and print commercials promoting a particular kind or brand of oil as being good for the heart, doctors say that such information should be taken with a pinch of salt.

"Trans-fatty acid is bad for the heart, and one should look out for food containing that. Other than that, there is no truth that only a particular kind of oil is good, like the trend is of olive oil. Even mustard oil is good," Talwar said. But even as the Mustard Research and Promotion Consortium says that mustard oil can prevent coronary artery disease, many doctors say that it's best to keep changing one's brand or kind of oil every few months.

Nuts, a rich source of oil, are also not at all bad. "Almonds and walnuts are good for the heart, and one should have 8 to 10 pieces of almond, soaked in water, every day," Seth said. But don't go overboard - fried almonds are a big no. As doctors say, it's often a thin line separating information and misinformation.

(Azera Rahman can be contacted at azera.rahman@gmail.com)

Source: IANS

News A-Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
January is the Thyroid Awareness Month in 2022
Menstrual Disorders
Coffee May Help You Fight Endometrial Cancer
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Heart Healthy Heart Statins Mitral Valve Prolapse Aortic Valve Stenosis Healthy Gifting Ideas for Diwali 

Recommended Reading
Research: Proper Diet Can Lower Hypertension And Improve Heart Function
A new research finds that diet can help lower hypertension and improve heart function in patients .....
Artificial Heart Pump Saves the Day for 42-year-old Chennai Man
Quite a milestone in the advancement of cardiac care in India, for this is the first time an ......
Moderate Coffee Consumption Doesn't Increase Heart Disease Risk, Says Study
Moderate coffee consumption is not associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, says ......
Walnuts Keep Diabetes, Heart Diseases Away
A walnut-rich diet can protect overweight adults from diabetes and heart diseases, reveals new ......
Aortic Valve Stenosis
Aortic valve Stenosis is an abnormal narrowing of the c valve. Symptoms include angina, and that of ...
Healthy Gifting Ideas for Diwali
Diwali, the festival of lights is round the corner. Take a fat free route when it comes to gifting t...
Mitral Valve Prolapse
Mitral Valve Prolapse is a relatively common condition and causes leakage of blood through the valve...
Statins are new wonder drugs that are proving to be efficacious, not merely in relieving symptoms bu...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2022

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use
open close
I have read and I do accept terms of use - Telemedicine

Advantage Medindia: FREE subscription for 'Personalised Health & Wellness website with consultation' (Value Rs.300/-)