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Times of India
07 April 2010
By Sumitra Deb Roy
Mumbai, India

High Risk Of Cardiac Arrest, Finds Study
Cholesterol
All is definitely not well with the heart of the city–both young and old. A study on Mumbaikars by P D Hinduja Hospital reveals some gloomy facts, highlighting the need for urgent steps to stem the impending cardiac epidemic. Metabolic factors that increase risk of heart disease by two–fold and diabetes by fivefold, was unbelievably high in the sample group.

The study conducted on 560 people (302 men, 246 women) aged 20–90 revealed 20% had more than three out of five metabolic factors like obesity, diabetes, high triglycerides (bad cholesterol), low HDL–C (good cholesterol) and elevated blood pressure. An equally worrying revelation was that 79.01% were overweight or obese. As many as 95% had at least one abnormal parameter.

The prevalence of metabolic factors was much higher in males at 25.16% as compared to females at 12.6%. But most importantly, the study revealed beyond doubt that young hearts were particularly at risk of developing cardiovascular diseases as most of those who showed low levels of HDL–C or good cholesterol were in the age group of 20–40 years. “About 65% of those with less of good cholesterol were between 20–40 years,” said Dr T F Ashavaid, head, department of Laboratory Medicine, PD Hinduja Hospital, who oversaw the project, adding obesity was one of the biggest concerns.

Lipoprotein A (LpA), believed to be responsible for heart attacks at a younger age, was found in elevated levels, and females particularly were high on this parameter. “The study showed about 26.37% of males and 33.73%females had elevated levels of LpA,” said researcher Apurva Sawant. “Just about 5% of the sample size was free of factors adding to morbidity,” said Sawant.

Similar was the case with triglycerides or bad cholesterol. About 40% had elevated fasting blood glucose levels and triglyceride. “Indians have a peculiar form of dyslipidemia where triglyceride is more and HDL is less, it makes them more prone to heart problems,” said Dr Aashish Contractor, head of preventive cardiology and rehabilitation, Asian Heart Institute. But experts say it may not be enough to blame genes. “Genetics can be managed with a good lifestyle,” said Contractor. “Less physical activity and more refined food is putting the population at a heightened risk.”

Young, Obese And In Clear Danger
*Study size: 560 people

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