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Why does India have the Highest Number of Cardiac Health Issues?

Why does India have the Highest Number of Cardiac Health Issues?

As per recent medical research, there has been an exponential spike in the incidence of cardiac health issues and sudden cardiac-related deaths in India. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that India contributes to around one-fifth18 March of 17.9 million deaths of young individuals, caused by cardiovascular disease, across the globe.


The recent news of many celebrities losing their lives due to heart issues has caught our attention more to this issue. Curious to know why India is at the top list of countries worldwide when considering the incidence of cardiac ailments? Read on to know what our top-notch and Best Cardiac Surgeon in India, Dr. Sujay Shad at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital says about it.  


What can contribute to poor heart health?


An unhealthy heart is the result of a poor lifestyle. The lifestyle behaviours that increase the risk of cardiac health issues include:


Eating a diet rich in saturated fats, trans fat, sodium, and cholesterol: It leads to heart issues like atherosclerosis and hypertension.

Having a sedentary lifestyle: If the body is not physically active, there is an increased risk of obesity, high cholesterol, diabetes, and hypertension all of which can lead to cardiovascular diseases.

Consuming an excess of alcohol: Intake of alcohol in excess can elevate blood pressure and increase triglyceride levels in the blood, thereby increasing the risk of heart issues.

Using tobacco: Smoking cigarettes can damage the heart and blood vessels which can further increase the risk of atherosclerosis, heart disease, and heart attack. Nicotine in our system can make us hyperintense. Even passive smokers are at risk of cardiac health issues.


Why is cardiovascular disease so high in India?


Urbanisation and modernization in India are rapidly moving ahead. Indians feel proud of the developments happening in the country. However, at the same time, they feel sad about hearing about the rise in cardiac health issues among Indians belonging to the age group of 20-50 years. With every passing year, cardiologists and cardiac surgeons in India have seen more and more people coming to them to get professional medical aid for their heart health.


So, what is to be blamed for increased cardiac health issues in India? Well, the culprits are sitting jobs, obesity, excessive tobacco and alcohol consumption, heart unhealthy diet, increased physical and emotional stress levels, and most importantly the lack of awareness among Indians of different cardiac ailments and their treatment options. 


What cardiac health issues are most reported in India?


Hypertensive heart disease: A shocking study by many Heart Surgery specialists in Delhi reveals the fact that the majority of people have hypertension and are unaware of it as their blood pressure rises only at night. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a very common lifestyle-related heart condition that can lead to a heart attack or heart failure and even cause blockage of veins/arteries. Fortunately, Indians can keep their blood pressure under control by going for regular health check-ups and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle means having stress and sleep management, eating a well-balanced diet, and doing regular exercise.


Ischemic heart disease- Also referred to as coronary artery disease or coronary heart disease, this cardiac health issue results in insufficient blood and oxygen supply to the heart. It is caused by the narrowing of the coronary artery with plaque build-up/cholesterol deposit. This might lead to blood clot formation, blockage in the artery, and sudden myocardial ischemia or heart attack. In India, heart disease and stroke are responsible for more than 80% of cardiovascular deaths


Arrhythmia: It is a cardiac health issue wherein the heart beats abnormally or irregularly. The most common kind of arrhythmia among Indians is atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation is a very fast, irregular heart rhythm that causes the formation of blood clots in the heart. Patients suffering from arrhythmia are at high risk of stroke, heart failure, and other cardiac health-related complications.


Rheumatic heart disease: This is a cardiac health issue wherein the heart valves get damaged because of rheumatic fever. In India, rheumatic heart disease leads to morbidity and mortality among children, teenagers, and young adults. As per a study, about 40% of the Indian population lives with rheumatic heart disease.



Heart valve complications: Heart valve disease can manifest as either stenosis (thickening or stiffening of valve wall) or regurgitation (backflow of blood). It is a complex cardiovascular condition that would need surgery which aims at repair or replacement of the damaged valves. If ignored, it can lead to several complications like stroke, blood clots, arrhythmias, heart failure, and even death.


Heart attack: It occurs when there is severe reduction or interruption in the blood flow to the heart. There is a huge number of death cases in India caused by heart attacks mainly in youths who lead poor modern lifestyles.

Stroke: It is a condition wherein a blockage or blood clot blocks or bursts a blood vessel in the brain. In India, stroke is a leading cause of death and even disability.


Heart failure: It is the end stage of a cardiovascular disease wherein the heart has lost its ability to effectively pump the blood. In India, a projected burden of heart failure cases has been reported due to a stressful lifestyle.  


How can one avoid suffering from cardiac health issues?


One can maintain a healthy heart and stay at low risk of cardiac health issues by following these strategies.


Here are some tips by Best Cardiac Surgeon in India, Dr. Sujay Shad to boost heart health:


  • Avoid indulging in bad lifestyle habits like smoking and drinking alcohol.
  • Get moving. At least aim for 30 minutes of daily workout.
  • Eat a heart-healthy diet that includes fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats and fish, healthy fats, and other legumes.
  • Maintain a healthy body weight.
  • Get quality sleep at night daily.
  • Manage stress. Healthy tactics include practising relaxation exercises, physical activity, yoga, and meditation.
  • Go for regular health screening tests to keep a check on blood pressure, blood cholesterol levels, and blood sugar levels.
  • Take steps to prevent infections that lead to cardiac health issues.

Ignoring any cardiac health symptoms is not a smart choice, as they can be fatal. Consult with the Best Cardiac Surgeon in India for more details about your heart health at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.

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