On the occasion of International Heart Day, the Ludhiana Management Association (LMA) organised a talk with one of the leading cardiologists of the region, Dr GS Wander, Head, Cardiology, DMCH, and also the coordinator of the Hero DMC Heart Institute.
LMA president Kamal Wadhera said though due to better incomes and decline in epidemic prevalence, our longevity had increased from 44 years in 1947 to 67 years in 2019, mortality due to cardiovascular diseases had also increased and cardiovascular diseases were now the largest cause for death. The talk was organised with an aim to educate LMA members about measures that must be taken to prevent the disease and lead a healthy lifestyle.
Dr GS Wander shared his research findings to establish the correlation between genetics and incidence of heart disease in the region. He shared that South Asians were more prone to cardiovascular ailments due to a metabolic syndrome that resulted in deposit of fats at the abdomen, leading to high cholesterol, blockage of arteries, and if ignored, to heart disease.
He further said, “As our income has increased, so has our dietary intake. Sedentary lifestyle is leading to diseases such as diabetes and hypertension that contribute to heart disease. Though many of us may not appear to be obese, but are highly susceptible to heart disease.”
He also said, “If we do not monitor our vitals regularly, especially after 40, it could lead to a situation where we might be silently suffering from diabetes, hypertension or other ailments, which cause a heart attack or stroke.”
Dr Wander also emphasised that two decades ago, cardiovascular diseases were considered to be diseases that would only affect the rich, urban, non-vegetarians, smokers, but this was now only a myth as due to our unhealthy diet and physically inactive lifestyles, even youth and people from all income groups had become susceptible to these chronic ailments.
He advocated a low-fat diet balanced in terms of carbohydrates and minerals not necessarily vegetarian, mild to vigorous exercise, especially yoga. Reduction in stress, minimum consumption of sugar, oils and salt would be the mantra for having a healthy heart, he added.
In a study conducted on school kids, Dr Wander and his team found that a substantial percentage of schoolchildren were having high blood pressure due to obesity, consumption of junk food and lack of physical activity. He advised members to monitor themselves and also their wards’ vital parameters on a regular basis to ensure early detection of ailment and remedial action.
He focused on preventive heart care for an active long life. Dr GS Wander was accompanied by his colleague Dr Sanjeev Singh Rawat, yoga consultant, who demonstrated a number of yoga asanas that prevent contraction of arteries, improve breathing and reduce stress.