The theme this year ‘My Heart, Your Heart,’ posed the question “What can I do right now to look after my heart and your heart?” for all stakeholders to walk the talk. The main call to action for this year’s campaign is to make a promise.
Cardiovascular diseases are a collective of various kinds of heart ailments, stroke and diseases of blood vessels. However coronary artery disease, also called ischemic heart disease – symptomised by the hardening of arteries – and strokes account for most deaths.
It was presumed that ischemic heart disease and stroke afflicted only affluent people and it was thought that Indians would not bear the brunt.
However, it has been seen that India has a very high incidence of ischaemic heart disease. This is because of modernisation with reduced physical activity, increased consumption of high calorie and refined food and genetic predisposition to develop heart disease.
Indian patients are affected at a younger age and develop severe blockages. This disease affects people during a productive period in their lives and causes a great social and economic burden.
On World Heart Day the emphasis is on preventing heart and stroke in the population. Various awareness camps and preventive health checks are done. Prevention of heart disease can be done by:
- Regular physical activities – at least 30-45 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity every day.
- Evaluating cholesterol levels and taking remedial measures through lifestyle changes and medication.
- Strict control of hypertension and diabetes.
- Achieving ideal body weight.
- Smoking cessation.
- Consuming foods high in whole grain, protein, fruits and vegetables and low in fat and refined food.
Incorporate heart-healthy habits into your lifestyle and you may well enjoy a healthier life for years to come.
The author is a consultant – Interventional Cardiology, Aster CMI Hospital, Bangalore