Staff Reporter

Thanks to lifestyle, two of 10 heart patients today are in their 20s or 30s

Corporate sector not paying attention to staff health

Centre working on a health plan for BPO sector employees

BANGALORE: Get up and go. Walk your way to a healthy heart. This is the zero-cost initiative recommended by health professionals on the occasion of World Heart Day, which is on Sunday.

The theme for this year’s World Heart Day is “Team up for healthy hearts!” as a reminder of how families and communities can play an important role in helping individuals to reduce their risk for heart attack and stroke by focusing on areas such as unhealthy diets, physical inactivity and tobacco use.

“Heart disease has never been something that happens to your neighbour,” Vishal Bali, vice-president, operations, Wockhardt Hospital and Heart Institute, said.

It may be claiming 17.5 million lives every year, but the good news is that heart disease is largely preventable and there are low-cost and straightforward steps that can be taken to reduce the major risk factors. Controlling these helps the heart to age more slowly and dramatically reduces the risk of heart disease.

Workplace stress

A study by the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations has said India’s rapid economic expansion has boosted corporate profits and employee incomes, but it has sparked a surge in workplace stress and lifestyle diseases that very few Indian companies have addressed. Experts warn that the country’s hugely successful outsourcing industry could be the hardest hit.

This has had Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss mulling over a special health plan for BPO employees, since his biggest concern was the country’s information technology industry that has grown rapidly, riding on the outsourcing boom in recent years.

Interventional cardiologist A. Gopi at Sagar Apollo Hospital said: “Genetics and lifestyle changes in the past two decades may be to blame for the fact that two out of 10 heart patients today are in their 20s or 30s. But we can do plenty to change all that.”

Diet, exercise and staying away from smoking — this is Dr. Gopi’s prescription.

High-pressure jobs in the IT sector may be paying well but it has made the personnel snack on junk food and eschew exercise.