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SakalTimes
21 June 2010
By Shashwat Gupta Ray
Pune, India

In past five years, the number of heart cases present in all hospitals in the city has increased three times and instances of heart diseases are growing annually at an alarming rate of 30 per cent, a top city cardiologist has said.

“There are three major diseases that occur due to blockage of arteries caused by deposit of cholesterol –brain, heart and leg attack. These are mainly seen in people who are diabetic and are smokers. Heart attack outnumbers the other two by huge margin,”honorary professor of cardiology – Sassoon, BJ Medical College and director Cath Lab and Coronary Care Unit, Ruby Hall Clinic, Dr Shirish Hiremath told Sak├ál Times.

According to him, in the past five years, the number of heart cases present in all hospitals in the city has increased three times and instances of heart diseases are growing annually at an alarming rate of 30 per cent.

“Almost 10 per cent of people in the city suffer from diabetes and one of 10 will have heart trouble. Almost 12,000–15,000 new heart patients are added every year, of which 90 per cent cases are related to heart attack,”Dr Hiremath said.

The cardiology expert said that in India diabetes is the number one reason for heart attack, followed by heavy smoking and stress.

“More than anything else, over the years studies have suggested that Indians are genetically at a higher risk of heart diseases as compared to other ethnic groups. This problem coupled with our changing lifestyle factors such as smoking, sedentary lifestyle, increase in intake of alcohol, stressful working hours is taking India to the verge of becoming global capital of heart diseases,”he said.

Giving an example, he said that if Indians are taken out to another country, the Indian community will be visible as having 10 times more risk factor than the local community.

Japanese people for instance, are very safe in terms of heart attack risk, even though there is a high instance of smoking in Japan

“Since the susceptibility is there and cannot be changed, let us change what can be changed – by reducing risk factors like eating habits, lifestyle, stress. These are modifiable. Genetics is not modifiable. There is an urgent need to raise the level of awareness amongst public and sensitise them about heart diseases and importance of prevention and early detection,”Dr Hiremath said.

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