More awareness on heart ailments can save more lives, say experts

Indians are at a higher risk due to genetic factors, they opine

September 29, 2022 10:24 pm | Updated 10:49 pm IST - VIJAYAWADA

Andhra Hospitals director P. V. Rama Rao speaking at the awareness camp organised by The Hindu, in association with  Andhra Hospitals, in Vijayawada on Thursday.

Andhra Hospitals director P. V. Rama Rao speaking at the awareness camp organised by The Hindu, in association with Andhra Hospitals, in Vijayawada on Thursday. | Photo Credit: K.V.S. GIRI

Heart care specialists at Andhra Hospitals stressed the need for awareness among the public on the rising incidence of heart ailments, ideal response to heart attacks and the availability of advanced treatment to save lives.

The Hindu in association with Andhra Hospitals conducted an awareness camp on the occasion of World Heart Day at Andhra Hospitals Heart and Brain Institute in the city on Thursday.

Andhra Hospitals' director and chief of children's services Dr. P.V. Rama Rao said that more than 90% of the children born with heart ailments were being saved these days. "It has become possible only due to increased awareness among doctors, parents and general public about the symptoms and the medical advancements to treat severe cases. Several years ago at least 40% of the children who approached us would be at the inoperable stage. Also, only 60% of the children need to undergo surgeries," Dr. Rama Rao said.

Senior interventional and chief cardiologist Dr. J. Srimannarayana said that across the world over 18.6 million people were dying due to heart issues and half of them were from India.

"Indians are at a higher risk of getting heart diseases compared to others due to genes. Also, most Indians are diagnosed with heart issues in middle age which is not good for their families as well as the country," he said.

In the name of managing stress people take to eating junk food and smoking instead of inculcating good habits such as spending time with children and doing yoga, he added.

Consultant interventional paediatric cardiologist Dr. K. Vikram said that heart issues in children were still believed as myths by many. "About 7,000 to 8,000 newborns are having heart ailments in the State every year and 98% of them could be successfully treated and they could lead a happy life," he said.

He said the support from philanthropists and NGOs was helping save the lives of many children.

Dr. Vikram said consanguineous marriages and certain restrictions on the intake of food by mothers were leading to heart ailments among newborns.

Consultant cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. R. Dilip said heart diseases could afflict any person and none should consider themselves as an exception. One should be careful about food habits and maintain health with physical activity. Even after undergoing heart procedures one could lead quality life by maintaining a balanced lifestyle, he said.

Responding to a question by one Neeraja during the interactive session, Dr. Sreemannarayana said that it was always safe to consult a doctor when in doubt between chest pain and acidity.

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