Staff Reporter

World Heart Day being observed today

VISAKHAPATNAM: Heart disease and stroke claim 17.5 million lives a year all over the world and 80 per cent of these deaths occur in low and middle income groups.

In view of the high cost of treatment, greater emphasis should be given to preventive aspect of coronary care, according to noted cardiologists S.C. Sinha and V. Sujata.

Addressing a media conference on Saturday on the eve of World Heart Day to be observed on Sunday, they said heart disease and stroke could be largely preventable if the main risk factors like high BP, high levels of cholesterol and blood glucose, obesity and physical inactivity were reduced.

They also said taking a balanced diet and quitting smoking would greatly reduce the chances of suffering a heart attack.

High-risk groups

Dr. Sinha suggested that the high-risk groups like smokers and diabetics should always keep a Disprin ready at home.

They should take a tablet dissolved in water whenever they experience discomfort in the chest or jaw or abdomen.

It gives immediate relief and prevents death. The patient should then be taken to a cardiologist and an ECG taken to determine the cause of the pain. Dr. Sujata said Indians had a genetic predisposition to heart attacks and this problem was getting magnified due to lifestyle changes like consuming fast foods, smoking and decreased physical activity.

Adopting healthy eating habits and change in lifestyle could reduce the risk.

Replying to a query, she said while high risk groups have greater chances of developing a heart attack there was no guarantee that an otherwise normal person would not be exposed to the risk.