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DNA India
27 September 2010
By Rishi Banerji
Surat, India

Every year, doctors, surgeons and cardiologists share ideas on World Heart Day to find solutions to heart related problems, but the fact is the number of heart patients in the country is increasing by each passing day. Apart from established reasons, pollution has emerged as one of the main causes for cardiac arrest, in urban population. The average age for cardiac problems has also come down from 50 to 35–40 in India.

While pollution is considered to be the prime reason for many problems in our life, it is also hugely affecting human body, especially heart. Cardiologists and heart surgeons have traced adverse effects of pollution on heart and lungs of people living in metros and developing cities.

The villain – nano particles present in atmosphere – enters human body during respiration and damages arteries.

The damage results in low supply of blood and later heart attack."When nano particles enter body, they settle down on lungs and start chain reaction. The reaction results into blood clotting in the arteries and veins. Clotting hinders the smooth flow of blood into heart, which in the end leads to cardiac arrest. Pollution has reached to such an extent that non–smoking person walking on the road can get that much nicotine and lead, which is received after smoking two cigarettes," leading cardiac surgeon Apurva Vasavda, said.

Vasavda added that due to changed atmospheric conditions, average age of heart patients has come down to 35–40, against 50 years, a few years back.

The situation is worse in Surat, where more than 35% population is suffering from heart related problems and angiography. Surat is termed as capital of heart patients in Gujarat, followed by Ahmedabad, due to its highest number of heart patients. According to an estimate, one out of three people in Surat is suffering from one or other heart related problems. 50% heart operations conducted in city are on youths aged below 40.

"Earlier, 40–50 heart operations were done in a month by four leading heart hospitals in Surat, which has gone up to 150 now. 1,100 angiographies are done every month in these hospitals, which is alarming. Youths are prone to cardiac arrest, if they don't adopt a proper lifestyle in time," said Mahesh Vichurkar, a renowned cardiac surgeon.

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