`Many urban women die due to heart disease'

Mumbai, Sep 28 (IANS): Nearly 70 percent of urban women succumb to cardio-vascular diseases, mainly due to late diagnosis and smoking, a top surgeon said here Saturday, on the eve of World Heart Day.

"The tobacco habit is best left alone," Ramakanta Panda, eminent cardiac surgeon and vice chairman of Asian Heart Institute, Mumbai, told IANS.

The theme of the World Heart Day this year is prevention of cardio-vascular diseases (CVD) among women and children.

Panda shot to fame after operating on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in January 2009. He said women in urban areas take up smoking, which has a host of consequences the educated youngsters do not seem to realise.

Senior cardiac surgeon at Bombay Hospital Anil Sharma prescribes a simple mantra for avoiding heart problems, which kills millions annually.

"Fast foods and fast life result in faster heart attacks, a fast angioplasty or a fast bypass surgery," Sharma said, adding the heart problems are rapidly rising in the country, especially the metros.

An Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) research says that CVD deaths in 1990 were around 2.26 million per annum in India, but by 2020, these will more than double, around 4.77 deaths per annum.

Similarly, UNICEF estimates say 260,000 children are born with heart problems every year in India, but hardly 10 percent of them get proper treatment, Panda said.

"Mumbaikars should take a pledge - Move, Get Mobile, Walk and Run!"

"Start with just 45 minutes daily, and you will herald a new beginning towards helping your heart stay fit and healthy," said well-known cardiologist Prince Surana.

The future generations also must be protected against heart diseases and strokes by encouraging and inculcating healthy lifestyles from early life among children, said Surana.

Hamdulay Heart Foundation and Muallim, a Muslim lifestyle magazine, found shocking results during a recent cardiac checkup for corporate professionals.

"Some people in their late 20s and early 30s were detected with serious cardiac problems, indicating that CVD is hitting the young," Z.A. Hamdulay, a leading city cardiac surgeon said.

Hamdulay said that he had operated on a heart patient who was only 23-years old and recent trends have indicated an increase in premature heart attacks, disability and deaths among people in their prime age.

Indus Health Plus's (IHP) latest Abnormality Report has shown CVD hitting women as young as 35, with an increase in the age-group of 24-30 years in Mumbai.

"There is a 10-15 percent rise in CVD among young women in Bangalore, and 35 percent increase among women in Delhi. In Maharashtra, CVDs are increasing among men and women in the 30-40 age groups with high cholesterol levels in the 45-50 year age brackets," said Amol Naikawadi, IHP's Joint Managing Director.

Naikawadi said that the report reveals that the CVDs susceptibility ratio of men to women is 3:2 in the younger age group, but post-menopause, it is 1:1.

In view of the growing CVD incidence, Z.A. Hamdulay has authored a multi-lingual book on the well-being of heart which will be published soon by the Hamdulay Heart Foundation for the benefit of the underprivileged sections of society.


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