World heart day, heart health, health, heart,

Cardiovascular health is of great importance for one and all. Since the year 2000, September 29 has been marked as World Heart Day.

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And with good reason! Around 80 percent of premature deaths due to cardiovascular diseases can be avoided by following a good lifestyle and avoiding habits such as consumption of tobacco and alcohol, lack of physical activity and following an unhealthy diet, according to the World Heart Federation.

Dr Yogesh Kothari, senior interventional cardiologist and electrophysiologist, as well as director at the heart failure & arrhythmia clinic at Gleneagles Global Hospitals, Bangalore, gave International Business Times, India, an exclusive interview regarding significant heart health related issues.

Here are some exceprts: 

Q. What do most of the heart patients you meet suffer from?

Dr Kothari: The most common heart condition today is Ischaemic Heart Disease, which involves blockages in blood vessels supplying the heart. With the growing new epidemic of non-communicable disease (life style diseases or NCDs), it is affecting the cardiovascular system by causing deposits of cholesterol and other complex material.

These deposits narrow the blood vessel, affecting blood supply to vital organs like the heart, brain and limbs. This causes life-threatening complications like heart attacks, stroke and critical limb ischaemia.

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Q. Any tips on how to deal with, control or prevent the condition?

Dr Kothari: We need to control the occurrence of lifestyle disease in our community through regular engagement, education and screening programmes. This will help mitigate the risk factors at an early stage.

Q. What about the number of patients suffering from this condition and deaths caused?

Dr Kothari: Due to liberalisation and urbanisation, there is a big shift in lifestyle across the populace in the last two decades. This has led to a huge epidemic of NCDs, which has grown from a single-digit incidence to almost effecting 40-50 percent of all adults today.

One in every two adults is either suffering from dyslipidemia, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, metabolic syndrome, cardiac disease or a combination of these. Our healthcare resources are also hugely strained in efforts to treat these problems.

Q. Any advice for our readers on how to avoid heart ailments?

Dr Kothari: For the benefit of our and future generations we need to get more physically active, eat healthy and be more content, minimising stress. Sitting is the new smoking and we need to move.