World Heart Day
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25 September 2010
City’s heart stronger than Delhi’s
On the eve of World Heart Day, here’s a chilling reminder of how prone Indians are to deadly heart diseases. A survey of 60,000 Indians shows that one in four has higher than usual levels of low–density lipoproteins (LDL), better known as the bad cholesterol that leads to development of plaque on the arterial walls.
According to Dr Shashank Joshi, editor emeritus of the Journal of Association of Physicians of India, the results reveal the hidden burden of dyslipidemia in India. "Dyslipidemia (or improper lipid levels) is an invisible disease, but it’s the most prominent marker for heart disease,’’ he said, adding that Indians have unhealthy levels of lipids due to urbanized diets and sedentary lifestyles. The rapid urbanization of Bangalore could be one of reasons as to why it heads the lists.
Other findings–oil major Saffola conducted the lipid profile of people across 50 cities and towns–one in 250 women had higher levels of all the three factors (low HDL, high LDL and TGL) while the one in 72 men had the same. Men in the 30 to 49 age group were highest at risk for heart diseases, while women between 50–59 years were at risk. In men, central obesity, lack of physical activity and change in dietary habits were the main reasons for dyslipidemia, while in women it was mainly hormonal changes brought on by menopause.
Not all agreed with the survey results. Said Delhi–based cardiologist Dr Ashok Seth, "To say that higher levels of lipids is equal to heightened risk for heart diseases is unfair. Heart disease is a ‘multi–factoral’ disease that develops due to factors such as family history, or diseases such as hypertension or diabetes and habits like smoking.’’ He added that "people over 50 years of age or those with a disease should take be mindful of their lipid profile’’.