World Heart Day

This Day is observed on 29th September every year, to commemorate the great role this organ plays in the human system.

On this day …we must make a pledge to create and sustain a heart healthy environment, by adopting healthy choices in our day to day lives,supplemented with a basic knowledge profile,in order to live longer with a happily beating heart, free from disease but loaded with a zest for life !

The Global Scenario…….more than 17.3 million deaths occur every year from cardio-vascular diseases. Acute Coronary Syndromes(ACS)….the lead members being Acute MI and Unstable Angina…cause a vast No. of unprepared and sudden strikes….with high morbidity and mortality..in spite of getting the best state of the art treatment facilities today…which are largely preventable !

The recent trends in the cardio-vascular morbidity profile are Coronary Artery Disease ( Ischaemic Heart Disease) and complications of Diabetes/Hypertension causing Heart Failure and ultimate gloomy prognosis..physically and financially.

With the above frightful picture in the backdrop, one should follow a guided lifestyle to keep the cardiovascular diseases at bay. ..in spite of a few latest diagnostic modalities and medicines arriving in the scene, to address some of these complicated issues.

Some of the commonly recommended day to day practices/ knowledge based activities could be…

  • Avoid sedentary hours ..by ensuring mobility in the form of 30 mins. of brisk walks a day or engaging in some kind of free hand exercises,to keep the heart pumping healthily. At office..getting up a frequent no. of times from long sitting sessions and standing, ensures non-sedentary attitude of oneself.
  • STOP smoking and drinking alcohol…in totality. Damage done by smoking cannot be undone but further damage can be prevented. Maintain a steady body weight appropriate to your age and body frame.
  • Rule out Diabetes/Hypertension/Dyslipidaemia by regular blood checks and consulting a physician at a certain periodicity.The idea is to know one’s numbers on these parameters and keep a track of your progress.
  • Staying away from excess consumption of the THREE white dietary scourges….salt/sugar/white flour.
  • Relying on more of vegetable produce and to cut down on organ meat like red meat and meat of bigger animals. If Non-veg fare is the preferred one…then to insist on fish/lean meat (Chicken-minus the skin)/fewer no. of eggs/skimmed milk etc.
  • Never to skip any medication advised by Doctors and to know the warning signs of immediately seeking medical care at a Hospital,if need be.
  • Women after their menopause are more prone to Heart Attacks than men of similar age because of the sudden withdrawl of the ‘oestrogen’ protection that they have been enjoying throughout their reproductive years !
  • People suffering from Diabetes are very prone to have SILENT Heart Attacks (without the typical chest pain) thereby posing more danger in the delay of recognition of the impending emergency and crisis and hence an uncertain morbidity and case fatality.
  • One should be aware of the usual/common symptoms of an impending/onsetting Heart Attack ( Acute MI) ..such as the ubiquitous Chest Pain-not subsiding with usual medication for coronary artery dilatation and /Difficulty in breathing/unusual sweating with/without discomfort/referred pain to left upper arm and left jaw/upper back,upper abdomen/ etc. and to seek medical help instantaneously.
  • Never to ignore any/all of the above symptoms as attacks of Acidity..!!!
  • A proactive and preventive Health Check to rule out any of the heart affections, is a perquisite to a healthy and disease free life for oneself and the family members.
  • Pregnancy needs to be properly followed up at Anti-natal care to exclude cases of “Pregnancy induced Hypertension” (PIH) and its complications.
  • Wishing all a heart healthy Life today and beyond………