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Heart attack to become biggest killer in 10 years, say experts

 V. Raghavendra
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Stress, unhealthy diet and lack of exercise are saidto be the main reasons

APMGUSA Emergency Medical Care Education Committee Chairman Vemuri S. Murthy (left) and American Heart Association faculty members Dennis McCauley and Tina McCauley sharing their views on heart attack at Guntur Medical College on Thursday.— Photo: T. Vijaya Kumar
APMGUSA Emergency Medical Care Education Committee Chairman Vemuri S. Murthy (left) and American Heart Association faculty members Dennis McCauley and Tina McCauley sharing their views on heart attack at Guntur Medical College on Thursday.— Photo: T. Vijaya Kumar

The global population is at a greater risk of falling prey to Myocardial Infarction, popularly known as heart attack, than ever before due to certain factors of predisposition and sedentary lifestyles.

In India, heart attack is going to be the largest killer in 10 years as people become increasingly vulnerable to it due to stress, unhealthy diet and lack of exercise. In the USA, 500,000 die of heart attack every year and the socio-economic costs of it are pretty high.

Around the world, only a small number of those suffering cardiac arrest outside hospitals survive the emergency, requiring prompt extension of Basic Life Support (BLS) in the Golden Hour which is possible when the awareness levels are high and there are no gaps in infrastructure, said Peter A. Meaney, Faculty of American Heart Association (AHA) and Assistant Processor of Anaesthesiology, Critical Care & Paediatrics at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and Dennis McCauley, another faculty of AHA.

Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Meaney said health care system around the world is found to be deficient in immediately attending to a heart attack patient before rushing him or her to a hospital. This is where BLS skills come into the picture.

India has no dearth of good doctors but what ails the system are poor knowledge and application of life saving methods like giving compressions, and substandard infrastructure.

It is in this context that the AHA is throwing fresh light on BLS and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) skills which are most wanted in India and many other countries where heart attack has reached epidemic proportions.

AHA has 400 international training centres and it has just tied up with NTR University of Health Sciences and Andhra Pradesh Medical Graduates USA (APMGUSA) for establishing one in Guntur Medical College soon.

Pilot project

Under a pilot project in Andhra Pradesh, AHA is imparting BLS and ACLS skills to students of 40 medical colleges starting with sessions at GMC.

AHA Faculty and APMGUSA’s Emergency Medical Care Education Committee Chairman Vemuri S. Murthy said heart attack, diabetes and high levels of triglycerides are poised to emerge as a lethal combination killing a huge number of people in India in the years ahead.

The genetic makeup of Indians was also found to be a prominent cause of heart attack, he added.

AHA Faculty member Tina McCauley was present.


  • American Heart Association to focus on Basic Life Support

  • AHA to establish a training centre in Guntur medical college



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