World Heart Day 2023…Is there something which raises a need to be more aware??
Dear friends, do we simply observe another World Heart Day this year? Or is there something new, something happening quickly, something that makes us want to talk and discuss it more?Well, I definitely believe that something is radically altering and causing anxiety both globally and in our country, particularly.We can categorically state that cardiovascular disease is currently on the rise. The most concerning statistic is that sudden cardiac fatalities have increased significantly in frequency and that the average age at which heart illnesses manifest themselves has shifted by more than ten years. Earlier it was extremely uncommon to see heart illnesses in less than 40 years individuals, however as per statistics today, nearly 25 % of heart illnesses are happening in under 40 years individuals.There is something wrong happening somewhere, isn’t it? So we all know the major risk factors for heart diseases are diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemias (high cholesterol), substance abuse – alcohol, cigarette smoking, stress, abnormal sleep patterns. So actually most of these disorders are nomenclated as life style disorders, so we can clearly narrow it down to the lifestyle. The drastic changes in the lifestyle is what is the reason of this epidemic in the core.My dear friends, we have developed a strong preference for absorbing and adopting other cultures’ lifestyles. It is acceptable to be drawn to and influenced by others, but it is vital to understand why the lifestyle that doesn’t damage them nearly as much as it does us. So dear friends, the inherent physiological and biological differences, genetic differences have been thoroughly researched over so many years and they very clearly tell us that,Indians present with CVD a decade earlier as compared to the people in European countries, 2/3rd of all cardiovascular deaths in India are premature. So in multiple studies trying to determine the reasons for increased predisposition of Indians to CVDs, the factors have been traced right to the perinatal period..Perinatal nutrition, influence of parental factors, body composition, fat percentage during early childhood as well as adolescence, metabolic rate, glucose metabolism and insulin resistance leading to high predisposition to diabetes with in normal weight individuals ,genetic predisposition to dyslipidemias in Indians are some of the factors which make us more prone and susceptible cardiovascular diseases. Many more markers are under study which includes pollution, COVID vaccination and many more.However until more markers are established, we can definitely try to work upon those which have a clear role to play.So what is to be done?? What is the solution??A Multifaceted approach is undoubtedly required – public health and health service level interventions at all levels – primary, secondary and tertiary level. But I would like to urge all of you to at least focus on what you can do at individual level.So dear friends, I would like to put it this way, that the purpose of life has to LIFE.. A happy, long and healthy life, a purposeful life. The purpose of life can never be pushing it towards troubles, towards difficulties and doing injustice to your own self.
We shall very keenly work upon some basic and very simple things..
Reducing the intake of salt rich food, packaged and processed food, food rich in trans fatty acids which includes cakes, cookies, pies, frozen pizzas, sugar sweetened beverages, refined oils. Trans fats are double trouble for heart health and give us bad cholesterol and shall be strictly curtailed in dietSwitching to a Heart healthy diet which includes whole grains, nuts, legumes, beans green vegetables, and plant based proteins, healthy oils like olive oil.
Saying NO to Alcohol and Cigarette smoking.
Avoiding sedentary life style by engaging in any physical activity for at least 30-40 minutes in a day for most days in a week.
Having good sleep pattern and not playing with your circadian rhythm.
Last but the most important, keeping preventive checks on your health parameters, especially BP, sugar levels, cholesterol levels. Please be out of the zone that if you do not have any one in family suffering from these disease, or you are not obese, you are immune.
Your body has very basic and minimal needs, just try to understand and fulfill them. Please don’t do injustice to your body, do not give so much stress to it so that it starts falling apart.The burgeoning CVD epidemic in India with premature onset is definitely a matter of grave concern and if all of us collectively don’t deal with it, it could cripple our country with huge losses.So dear friends, your life is precious, your heart is super precious, so please take good care of it. Wishing a very Happy World Heart Day to all.