India would be the heart disease capital by 2030 unless preventive steps were taken. A study of schoolboys showed that 60 per cent of that group had low levels of good cholesterol

Instead of sons bringing their fathers for heart check-up as it was 15 years ago, in two out of 10 cases today, the father brings his son for a heart check-up, H. Prabhakar, Chief Interventional Cardiologist at Father Muller Medical College (FMMC), told The Hindu.

Speaking on the sidelines of a conference to mark the World Heart Day, Dr. Prabhakar, who has been practising for the past 15 years in the city, said the worrying trend prevailed in Mangalore too.

The doctor, who is the Organising Chairperson of the International Cardio-Diabetes Conference – 2012, said that a majority of doctors and the public thought that heart disease and diabetes affected only the affluent and men in particular. Quoting the World Health Organisation (WHO), he said a significant number of women and children across classes suffered from the diseases. “The majority is preventable or its progress can be delayed,” he said.

The conference with the theme — One world, one home, one heart — focusing on women and children, had been planned to create awareness on this aspect. He said by 2030 India would be the diabetes and heart disease capital unless aggressive preventive steps were taken.

Dr. Nihal Thomas, Professor and Head of Endocrinology, Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, and Vice-Principal (Research), Christian Medical College (CMC), Vellore, said that schools should use the Physical Training (PT) period for the intended purpose instead of for other activities such as tuitions. A study of schoolboys showed that 60 per cent of that group had low levels of good cholesterol, which meant that 80 per cent of them would get into the pre-diabetes segment, which makes them run the risk of getting coronary heart disease, he said.

Sudeep, Endocrinologist, said that more young people had diabetes today. If the father turned diabetic at 60, the son would become diabetic at 50 and the grandson would develop the condition much earlier because of changing lifestyles. Abnormalities in fats and sugars were the source of heart problems and people did not accept that they were affected by stress. “They skip medical check-ups and while they agree they should modify their lifestyle, they did not adhere to physical activity schedules and diets.” There was an impression that heart disease affected only the rich. However, poor people suffered from it because of consuming food with high amount of trans fats. Children grow up without much physical activities as they had no playgrounds. Inactivity and junk food led to weight gain, which in turn led to diabetes and cholesterol, sure causes for heart problems. “That is why the two conditions were clubbed at the meet,” he said.

Dr. Sudeep said that doctors at the meet were told how to prescribe drugs through injection for diabetes so that they could teach patients how to self-administer drugs.

Dr. Geetha Bhat, Senior Resident, Kasturba Medical College (KMC), said she found useful the updates on ECG and ECHO cardiography. Dr. Shashank Shetty, staff at K.S. Hegde Hospital, said that as a young postgraduate, he got to know of newer treatment options and gained from the experience of seniors.

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