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Forty-eight per cent of Mumbaikars face the risk of heart attacks because of obesity, more than 50% have unhealthy cholesterol levels while around 64% lead a sedentary life and avoid exercise.

These are some of the disturbing findings of a mega study, conducted across nine cities among 1.8 lakh people, including 29,017 respondents surveyed in Mumbai. It showed that 70% of urban Indians are at the risk of cardiovascular diseases. The study found people in various cities with different sets of risk factors. For many, heart age older than actual age, say docs

Doctors blame the rise in obesity and cholesterol levels among Mumbaikars on spiralling stress levels coupled with a sedentary lifestyle aswell as a compromiseddiet.

Dr Akshay Mehta, senior cardiologist from Asian Heart Hospital, said this has affected the heart health of the young work force in the 30-44 age group. "While Mumbai is seeing an increase in the ageing population—which, in turn, directly affects the heart—there are also many heart attacks in the younger working population," said Dr Ganesh Kumar, chief interventional cardiologist, Dr LHHiranandaniHospital.

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He said the reason is increase in competition. "Children todayhavetocompeteto get more marks. So, right from childhood, we are inculcating high stress levels. In the current economic transition, the working youth has high competition levelstoensure a better lifestyle."

In comparison to other cities, though, Mumbai appears to have fared marginally better in terms of the risk factors. Those in Delhi and Chandigarh, for instance, were found to be more obese at 54% each. Mumbai fared slightly better at 48% whereas all the others, except Kolkata—Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and Pune—have people between 49% and52%whosuffer the risk of heart problems because of obesity. Obesity factor was the lowestin Kolkata at47%.

Thestudy conductedby Saffolalife also factored in faulty eating habits.

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Delhi and Chandigarh once again topped the chart in consumption of processed foods such as noodles,chips and packaged juices. Forty-four per cent of Mumbai’s respondents consumed processed or preserved food morethan twice a week.

Delhi and Chandigarh were also high in consumption of fried or fat-rich foods. Ahmedabad, meanwhile, was the biggest defaulter when it came to consumption of vegetables, fruit and salad whereas people from Chennai were found to have the least affiliation with whole grains.

"Diet has undergone major changes depending on convenience. Preference for processed, preserved and fried foods has goneup noticeably.Highdependence on the same and a menu devoid of vegetables, fruits and whole grainswillonly make people more vulnerable to cardiovascular diseases," said dietician NitiDesai.

Lack of physical activity, too, makes Indians prone to heart problems. The study foundthat70%of thosewholive in Ahmedabadindulgedin little physical activity.Thosein Pune andBangalorewerefoundtobe most active of all, but only marginally morethan theothers.

Dr N O Bansal, head of cardiology, J J Hospital, said with more disposable income today, people consume high-calorie foodswhichincreasefatlevels.

Thestudy showedthedifferencein theheart age andthe actual age starts right from the 30s with a noticeable peak in the 40s. "Heart age helps estimate preventablecardiovascular disease risk factors. The heart age couldbeolder, younger or thesame asthechronological age. We havebeen finding that more and more people today have a heart agewhichisolder than their actual age," saidDr Mehta.

Times of India
27 Sep 2013

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