Medical Council of India chairman calls for focus on health promotion

The focus should be on health promotion with the integrated population and high-risk groups to reduce prevalence of conventional risk factors leading to non-communicable diseases, K.K.Talwar, chairman, Medical Council of India, said.

Dr. Talwar, a renowned cardiologist, who headed PGI Chandigarh, spoke of the need to strengthen secondary and primary care, and find ways of providing affordable care to the population. He was delivering the 3{+r}{+d} Madras Diabetes Research Foundation Gold Medal Oration Award in the city on Saturday.

Cardiovascular disease contributed to one-third of the global deaths, Dr. Talwar said. Additionally, at least 30 million people live with heart attacks and strokes every year, and require constant care.

The incidence has been rising over the years, he added. According to figures from PGI Chandigarh, Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) affects 65.4 in 1000 males and 47. 8 in 1000 females.

The prevalence, however, is not consistent throughout the country. While it is 3-4 per cent in rural areas and 8-10 per cent in urban areas, studies have showed that the south had a higher burden than the north.

Studying the cases of myocardial infarction (heart attack) in persons under 40 years, 3-11 per cent of all these patients have coronary artery disease, globally, and 25 per cent have CAD in India.

Globally, the INTERHEART study conducted in 52 countries identified nine risk factors that accounted for 86 per cent of the attributable risk factors for the disease. The common factors were smoking, hypertension, diabetes, and a family history of CAD.

Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR Medical University Vice-Chancellor Mayil Vahanan Natarajan said diabetes was no longer a rich man's disease; it had surely reached all social groups, and even younger people.

While there had been several advances in the management of diabetes, identification of at-risk individuals was very important, he added. Research is essential in this sector, and the varsity had initiated research associations with various institutions.

K.M.Venkat Narayan, professor, School of Medicine, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, U.S. who was conferred the 18{+t}{+h} Dr. Mohan's Diabetes Specialties Centre (DMDSC) Gold Medal Award on the occasion spoke on “Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes needs strategies to preserve beta cell function.”

Ranjit Unnikrishnan, Vice Chairman, DMDSC, made a presentation on the journey of Dr. Mohan's group of institutions through the years. V.Mohan, Chairman, and MD, DMDSC, R.M.Anjana, joint managing director, DMDSC, and Shashank Joshi, president, Research Society for the Study of Diabetes in India, also spoke.