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MMC includes yoga in preventive cardiology

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HEALTHY EXERCISE: Yoga and meditation help in prevention of heart diseases. PHOTO: M. Vedhan
HEALTHY EXERCISE: Yoga and meditation help in prevention of heart diseases. PHOTO: M. Vedhan

Swahilya

Department of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery golden jubilee on September 1

CHENNAI: Yoga's medical benefits have prompted Madras Medical College to include it in its preventive cardiology programmes.

"A calm Indian way of life with yoga and meditation is an ounce of prevention which is better than tonnes of cure," R. Veerapandian, Medical Superintendent of the Government General Hospital said.

The MMC Dean, Kalavathi Ponniraivan, said that considering the importance of yoga for good health, programmes are being organised for the first year students in hostels. "It is optional at present, but soon I am planning to make it mandatory," she said.

K. Harsha Vardhan, head of the department of Cardio Thoracic Surgery, said that a stressful life, increasing habit of eating fast foods rich in cholesterol and smoking were the main causes for heart ailments. By 2010, India will be on the top of the list of countries of people with heart disease, he said quoting a study.

Meditation

Prevention according to him was the solution. "Yoga and meditation have taken the world by storm. It is incorporated in allopathic treatment the world over," he said.

With regular physical exercise, a healthy diet and meditation, heart ailments can be avoided, the doctor said.

The doctor said that 80 per cent of the cases that came for treatment at the department involved rheumatic heart disease. The treatment was mainly by prevention at the school level itself and introducing a chapter on health education, Dr. Harshavardhan said.

The Cardio Thoracic Surgery department has around 100 patients on the waiting list; 400 open heart surgeries are done in a year at the super speciality department with five units. Awareness programmes are being conducted at the Taluk and District headquarter levels on prevention of heart diseases, Dr. Harshavarshan said.

He said that children and adults have to be watchful when they get a throat infection and attend to it immediately. "If it is a bacterial infection, it causes severe pain of the joints and slowly leads to heart failure," he said stressing that school children have to be screened for a healthy heart. The other ways of preventing heart diseases is by avoiding consanguineous marriages. The mother should take care of her health consciously during the period of the first trimester when the most important parts of the baby is being formed.

The golden jubilee of the Department of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery of the Madras Medical College is being held at the Madras Medical College Open Air Auditorium on September 1.

Tamil Nadu was the first State to start the department of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery in 1956. The Government has allocated funds to upgrade the quality of heart care in Government hospitals. "This will drastically reduce the long list of patients waiting for heart surgery," Dr. Ponniraivan said.

Union Ministers including Dayanidhi Maran and Anbumani Ramadoss will participate in the celebrations.

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