Heart diseases catching up more with youngsters in Himachal


A well-known heart specialist Dr. T.S. Mahant has expressed concern and warned the younger population in the hills on their declining cardiac health. Excessive tobacco, alcohol consumption and unhealthy diet are becoming the major reasons of the youngsters falling to the incidence of cardiac ailments at an alarming rate here. Delivering a lecture over the weekend Dr. Mahant, who is also the Executive Director of Cardio Thoracic and Vascular Surgery at Fortis hospital said that continuing advancements in medical technology and clinical expertise have made the heart surgeries safer and that has reduced the mortality by 25 per cent.

From a few hours old newborn to a nonagenarian, anybody can be operated successfully for heart ailments by an experienced heart surgeon at an advanced tertiary care hospital, he claimed. Correct diagnosis, early and timely surgeries are the key to saving lives nowadays. But the lowering age of those afflicted by heart disease in the hill State is a disturbing factor, he said. “I’ve treated many who’re in their early 20s but have developed cardiac ailments due to a diet high in red meat, tobacco and alcohol”, he said. The people in the hills are also consuming diets high in sugar and butter oil, he added.

According to a report published by Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), one of the apex trade associations, on the cardiovascular disease scenario in India, the country has seen a considerable increase in the number of heart disease cases over the past couple of decades, said Dr Mahant while stressing on regular health checkups.

A study published in British Medical Journal, 2014 on government employees in India has showed 45.6 per cent of the population had dyslipidemia, 47.6 per cent were overweight and 21 per cent had hypertension. Two or more risk factors of coronary artery disease (or heart disease) were present in 78.6 per cent of the participants. “The incidence in young Indians is 12-16 per cent, which is higher than other ethnic groups worldwide,” he said.

The advance techniques in surgery have reduced the fear amongst people opting for the heart procedures. Superior techniques like beating heart surgery, minimal invasive surgery, robotic surgery and the availability of an artificial heart have further reduced the risk factors in patients, he said.

With the help of Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO), a heart surgeon can allow more time to an intensive care expert working on a critical patient of reversible lung and heart diseases. New generation prosthetic valve and trans catheter valve implants (TAVI) have opened up new avenues in management of heart valve diseases and the development of an artificial valve has given a bridge to a heart failure patient waiting for a heart transplant, informed the renowned cardiologist.

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