Dear friends, Is this just another world heart day that we are observing? Or is there something which is different, which is rapid and which raises a need to talk and discuss more about it ?
The Current Trends in Heart Health
Well I firmly think there is something which is very drastically changing and is raising an alarm across the world and especially in our country.
We can definitely say that we are presently dealing with an epidemic of cardiovascular diseases. The fact which is most worrisome is that the average age of onset of heart diseases has shifted more than a decade, sudden cardiac deaths have become extremely common.
Earlier it was extremely uncommon to see heart illnesses in less than 40 years individuals, however as per statistics today, nearly 25 % of heart illnesses are happening in under 40 years individuals.
Major Risk Factors for Heart Diseases
There is something wrong happening somewhere, isn’t it? So we all know the major risk factors for heart diseases are diabetes, hypertension, dyslipedemias (high cholesterol), substance abuse – alcohol, cigarette smoking, stress, abnormal sleep patterns. So actually most of these disorders are nomenclated as life style disorders, so we can clearly narrow it down to the lifestyle. The drastic changes in the lifestyle is what is the reason of this epidemic in the core.
Dear friends, we have become very fond of getting influenced and matching with the lifestyle of other counties. It is ok to get attracted and get influence by others, but it is extremely crucial to understand the this lifestyle which is not causing much harm to them, why it is causing so much harm to us.
So dear friends, the inherent physiological and biological differences, genetic differences have been thoroughly researched over so many years and they very clearly tell us that,
Indians present with CVD a decade earlier as compared to the people in European countries, 2/3 rd of all cardiovascular deaths in India are premature. So in multiple studies trying to determine the reasons for increased predisposition of Indians to CVDs, the factors have been traced right to the perinatal period..
Perinatal nutrition, influence of parental factors, body composition, fat percentage during early childhood as well as adolescence, metabolicc rate, glucose metabolism and insulin resitance leadning to high predisposition to diabetes with in normal weight individuals ,genetic predisposition to dyslipedemias in Indians are some of the factors which make us more prone and susceptible cardiovascular diseases. Many more markers are under study which includes pollution, covid vaccination and many more.
However until more markers are established, we can definitely try to work upon those which have a clear role to play.
So what is to be done?? What is the solution??
A Multifaceted approach is undoubtedly required - public health and health service level interventions at all levels - primary, secondary and tertiary level. But I would like to urge all of you to at least focus on what you can do at individual level.
So dear friends, I would like to put it this way, that the purpose of life has to LIFE.. A happy, long and healthy life, a purposeful life. The purpose of life can never be pushing it towards troubles, towards difficulties and doing injustice to your own self.
How To Build A Healthy Lifestyle
We shall very keenly work upon some basic and very simple things..
- Reducing the intake of salt rich food, packaged and processed food, food rich in trans fatty acids which includes cakes, cookies, pies, frozen pizzas, sugar sweetened beverages, refined oils.
Trans fats are double trouble for heart health and give us bad cholesterol and shall be strictly curtailed in diet
Switching to a Heart healthy diet which includes whole grains, nuts , legumes, beans green vegetables, plant based proteins, healthy oils like olive oil.
- Saying NO to Alcohol and Cigarette smoking.
- Avoiding Sedentary life style by engaging in any physical activity for at least 30-40 minutes in a day for most days in a week.
- Having good sleep pattern and not playing with your circadian rhythm.
- Last but the most important, keeping preventive checks on your health parameters, especially BP, sugar levels, cholesterol levels. Please be out of the zone that if you do not have any one in family suffering from these disease, or you are not obese, you are immune.
Your body has very basic and minimal needs, just try to understand and fulfill them. Please don’t do injustice to your body, do not give so much stress to it so that it starts falling apart.
The burgeoning CVD epidemic in India with premature onset is definitely a matter of grave concern and if all of us collectively don’t deal with it, it could cripple our country with huge losses.
So dear friends, your life is precious, your heart is super precious, so please take good care of it. Wishing a very Happy World Heart Day to all.
Dr Geetika Madan Patel
Vice- President & Medical Director
Parul University & Parul Sevashram Hospital