A healthy diet, regular exercise, and avoiding smoking, and alcohol are factors that will help in reducing cardiac problems, said V.V. Bashi, Chairman, Centre for Thoracic and Cardio Vascular Care, MIOT hospitals, here on Saturday.

Speaking at a seminar on ‘Prevention and Management of Cardiac Problems' organised by the Indian Officers' Association (IOA), Dr. Bashi said the heart was the most hardworking muscle in the body. Statistics showed that heart diseases were the leading cause of death for men and women, he said.

Nearly 60 million people in the country were suffering from coronary vascular diseases. Indians were more genetically predisposed to this problem than any other ethnic group, Dr. Bashi observed.

Poor handling of fats and metabolic systems, increased pollution levels, urbanisation and environment degradation could also lead to heart diseases. Any government's performance is measured in terms of the health care programmes it implemented, said R. Poornalingam, president, IOA. The Millennium Development Goals set to eradicate infant and maternity mortality rates could not be achieved at the national level, whereas at the State level, the targets had come closer to being achieved, he said.

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