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Times of India
29 September 2011
By , Syed Intishab Ali
Jaipur , India

‘OF The Total Number Of Heart Patients, 20% Are Below 40 Years Of Age’
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The young — rural and urban – are increasingly becoming susceptible to heart attacks.
It surprised doctors when a 22–year–old engineering student had a massive heart attack a few days ago. What shocked them was that they did not find any of the four conventional reasons for heart attack like diabetes, smoking, cholesterol and blood pressure. “There was not a single conventional risk factor of heart attack he was suffering from. But, his main artery was 100% blocked. We treated him. He is well now. But it has become a reason for research why young people are increasingly becoming susceptible to heart diseases — may be because of stress or because of lack of exercise, depression and also it could be because of consumption of contaminated food,” Dr Prakash Chandwani, cardiologist at a private hospital, said.

Like his urban counterpart, a few days ago, a 28–year–old villager in Bharatpur district was brought to SMS Hospital after a cardiac arrest. Heart surgeon R N Mathur operated on him which was a complicated case.

Mathur said, “The young person was not the only heart patient with rural background we treat here but there are lots of such rural patients who come to SMS hospital for treatment. Heart ailments are now common among rural youths too.”

Heart diseases are now one of the most fatal non–communicable diseases in the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) also expressed concern over increasing number of heart patients and which has become one of the reasons for many deaths.

Dr Mathur said that it is due to the “hurry–burry–curry culture” we are living with which has increased the risk of heart diseases.

SMS Medical College professor and cardiac surgeon, Dr Rajeev Bagarhatta, claimed that 40% of the total heart patients at SMS hospital are from the rural areas. This was only 20% five years ago. He said, “Apart from stress, the other reasons for rural youths at risk of heart diseases are smoking, high consumption of fatty food, low intake of leafy vegetables and too much intake of oily food. Also, there are socioeconomic reasons apart from awareness about heart diseases; they come to the hospital in large numbers.” He said that 20% are youths, under–45 female and under–40 male, among total number of heart patients which come to the hospital for treatment.

Bagarhatta said, “Overall heart patients have increased. Five years ago, we conducted 15 cases of angioplasty per day now it has increased to 25 cases per day. One can gauge from the figures that heart diseases are on the rise.”

Private hospitals too are getting heart patients from rural areas. “A few days ago, I conducted angioplasty on 22–year–old person from rural Jaipur. After few days, a 31–year–old patient also came down with a heart attack. He too was from the rural background,” M L Sharma, cardiac surgeon and director of a private hospital.

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