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DNA India
26 March 2011
Bangalore, India

Four out of 10 urban Indians are at a risk of cardiovascular disorders (CVD). The study by SaffolaLife has indicated that Bangaloreans face a higher risk of CVD than people in other Indian cities.

While 44.8% of the population of urban India is at a risk of developing CVD, nearly 54% of Bangaloreans are at risk.

So is that the price of being the IT capital of the country? Experts say Bangalore is more prone to cardiovascular diseases as young people in the city faceexcessive work–related stress.

Dr CN Manjunath, director, Jayadeva Institute of Cardiology said, "Statistics reveal that 25% of the patients whom we treat are below 40 years of age. 10% fall in the 25–30 years category."

Offering an explanation for why the city’s youth are prone to heart ailments, Manjunath said, "The workforce in the city has a large number of people incorporate jobs and software services, and many of these people are burnt out in the process ofachieving too many targets. They suffer a lack of rest and recreation, and this could make for a predisposition to heart ailments."

There are other causes too. Diabetes, which could also be caused by stress, is a condition that could lead to cardiac complications.

"At least 5% of diabetics develop cardiac complications. Also, the present day food habits, and the increased use of pesticides and chemicals in agriculture could trigger cardiac problems," Manjunath said.

South India also faces a genetic disadvantage, points out Dr Gopi A, interventional cardiologist, Fortis Hospital. "It may be purely coincidental that Bangaloreans run the highest risk for CVD. South Indians, in general, run a higher risk of developing coronary diseases than north Indians, as they are genetically predisposed to CVD," he said.

The SaffolaLife Study 2010 also noted some differences in the proneness to heart ailments between men and women. While men between 30 and 39 years of age risk developing CVD, the indicators start appearing from the age of 26 years.

For women, the indicators start appearing around 35 years of age, and the risk is highest for women between 50 and 59 years of age. The study revealed that one in 30 women below 40 years is at risk of CVD. For women aged 40 and above, though, one in five is at risk.

"Hypertriglyceridemia is common among diabetics and people who have a high carbohydrate diet. South Indians, with their high intake of rice, have a greater proneness to diabetes than north Indians. Perhaps this could explain the higher risk of CVD among Bangaloreans," said Dr SS Ramesh, consultant cardiologist, VIVUS Life.

The SaffolaLife Study, a comprehensive study on lipid profiles, was conducted across different cities with over 60,000 respondents. The survey was conducted in 2010.

Key findings of the study
While urban populations had high levels of routinely assessed markers such as LDL 24.3%, triglycerides were also high at 28.7%.

Four out of 10 men are at risk with unfavourable total cholesterol to HDL ratio.

Among women, one in four is at risk. Men have higher risk factors than women, although post–menopausal women need special attention as they constitute a distinct sub–group of high risk.

Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad have a high proportion of people with a poor triglyceride profile, while Kolkata has a relatively good lipid profile as compared to other metros.

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