by Zareen Afridi | 29TH September, 2018
Every year, September 29 is celebrated as World Heart Day. The heart is one of the strongest organs of the body, yet it is susceptible to failure and ill function. Cardiovascular diseases are reported as the number one cause of death. Estimates show that in every 33 seconds, a heart stops beating due to cardiac arrest. Use of tobacco and active & passive smoking kills 6 million people on a yearly basis. What is worse, 28% of this population are children.
The situation is staggering in India. The cardiac coronary artery disease is steadily increasing in number in the younger generation. We have fast forwarded 10 years when it comes to heart attacks as compared to western countries. Factors like stiff competition at workplaces, sedentary lifestyle and neglect of personal health have taken a toll on the youth of the nation. Working hours have stretched from morning till night without any concern for personal health. Anxiety is also a major contributor to stress and heart issues. The younger generation is grinding between these barriers and losing their spirit and vigor. Women under this pressurized environment lose estrogen, a vital hormone to combat heart diseases.
When it comes to family history and cases of diabetes, nothing can be done. But factors which are in our control like smoking, excessive stress, inactivity, binge eating processed foods and least physical activity must be carefully watched upon. According to Dr. Nisarga [MS, MCh (CTVS) Consultant, Consultant Cardiovascular Surgeon, KIMS Hospital, Kondapur], walking is an excellent exercise. A person may make a thousand excuses to not walk but there should be one strong reason to walk and that is the will to walk.
According to Dr. D Senthil Kumar, Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgery, Fortis Malar Hospital, sedentary lifestyle has become one of the major reasons of increased blood pressure and cholesterol levels in the youth. High fatty food is also to be blamed as the fat deposits in the blood vessels leading to blockages and ultimately cardiac arrest. Physical activity here comes to the rescue as vigorous exercise causes the body to sweat and dissipate the accumulated fat. Swimming for an hour is termed as the best exercise to relax each part of the body. Dr. Kumar firmly believes that what you accumulate must be let go in some form or the other.
Dr. Nisarga stresses that heart is a vital organ and if this stops, the whole machinery of the body stops. Hence taking good care of this fist-sized organ must be of utmost importance. By bringing about small changes in lifestyle, a risk of cardiovascular diseases reduces to a great extent. Remember, heart health is the heart of all health.
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