Another year to create awareness about heart health as we mark ‘World Heart Day’. But have we really understood the criticality of cardiovascular diseases (CVD)? CVD which majorly comprises of ischemic heart disease and stroke, is the leading cause of death globally. WHO estimates that India accounts for just over a fifth of these deaths. The prevalence of CVD in India has risen over the past 2 decades due to population growth, aging, and a stable age-adjusted CVD mortality rate. Ischemic heart disease mortality is rising in India, with the greatest increases in young adults—especially those born after 1970. In less than two decades, ischemic heart disease mortality in rural India has surged and surpassed urban levels.
In India, the leading risk factors for CVDs (in 2016) included dietary risks, high systolic blood pressure, air pollution, high total cholesterol, tobacco use, high fasting plasma glucose, and high body mass index. The prevalence of high systolic blood pressure, high total cholesterol, and high fasting plasma glucose increased generally across India from 1990 to 2016.To reduce premature death and disability from CVD, India needs to implement population-level policies while strengthening and integrating its local, regional, and national health systems.
On the occasion of World Heart Day, Dr Pankaj Raut Interventional Cardiologist pointed out that, “Lifestyle choices play a vital role. Indians are worsening their risk for heart diseases with poor physical activity, a high-fat diet and by steadily shunning fruits and vegetables. In today’s stressful world, it has become crucial that each one of us takes some constructive steps to save the heart of our loved ones before it is too late, especially since prevention is easy and can substantially reduce cardiac risk.”
To combat heart disease in India, according to Dr Pankaj Raut Interventional Cardiologist “There’s a need for a comprehensive approach, which will require improvements in basic amenities, healthcare facilities and, perhaps most importantly, education that will enable people to take responsibility for their own actions. For tuberculosis, you have TB clinics. For malaria, you have the malaria control programme. For cardiovascular diseases especially in rural areas, we have nothing so far. However, few companies have started education programme at their end but at the larger level a lot needs to be done.”
So, if you want to save your loved ones from this killer, it is important that we make some small changes in our and our loved one’s lives. It is essential to understand that at the end, it is in our hand to ensure Wellness of Heart of our loved ones. Let’s step up and start caring and BE A HEART HERO.