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Posted at: Nov 19, 2019, 7:49 AM; last updated: Nov 19, 2019, 7:49 AM (IST)

Punjabis at high risk of developing heart diseases, say experts

High level of bad cholesterol key risk factor, experts advise to cut intake of dairy products, refined sugar, flour as these are rich in trans fats
Punjabis at high risk of developing heart diseases, say experts

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 18

Change is lifestyle, consumption of fast food is leading Punjabis towards obesity.

Of all Indians states, Punjabis are most prone to developing heart diseases, according to city-based cardiologists.

High level of bad cholesterol is the key risk factor and experts advise to cut the intake of dairy products, refined sugar, flour and bakery products because these are rich in trans fats.

Sedentary lifestyle, lack of exercise, intake of trans-fatty food lead to the formation of bad cholesterol and also make people more prone to other risk factors of heart diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and obesity.

Along with medicines including statins that are available to effectively lower the levels of bad cholesterol, leading a healthy lifestyle and regular exercise is paramount to keep the cholesterol levels in check.

Millennials at higher risk

According to doctors, millennials are at a higher risk of developing a heart disease.

Dr Sandeep Chopra, additional director-cardiology, Fortis Hospital, Ludhiana said: “Earlier, heart diseases were mostly observed in the age of 60 plus, but today this is no longer the case. We have even seen a case of a 17-year-old suffering a heart attack. This is worrisome. If we analyse data, there is 2-3 times increase in the number of patients suffering from heart ailments. It is not only because of bad lifestyle habits, unhealthy diet and lack of exercise, but also stress, which plays a critical role in the upsurge of heart attack. Adults in their early 30s are prone to heart disease because of stress at work. It is recommended to follow a balanced diet and regular exercise. Currently, statins are the best medicines to decrease the bad cholesterol levels and significantly lower one’s risk of developing cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack.”

Dr Ravninder Singh Kuka, interventional cardiologist at SPS Hospital Ludhiana, said: “In India, Punjab has the highest rate of heart diseases, whereas citizens of Manipur and Mizoram have the lowest risk of developing heart diseases. And, it can be safely attributed to lack of physical activity, sedentary lifestyle and consumption of foods rich in carbs and fats. In Punjabis, the prevalence of metabolic syndrome is also high. It is characterised by having the combination of high cholesterol level, diabetes, hypertension and obesity. Due to these factors, Punjabis have a higher chance of developing heart diseases. Leading a healthy lifestyle (balanced diet and exercise) can reduce the risk of heart diseases.”

Indians suffer from heart diseases at least 10 years before the western population. Contrary to general perception that heart diseases only affect people in the old age, 50 per cent of the heart attacks occur before the age of 50-55 in India. Indians have this added risk because of our genetic predisposition, lifestyle, diet, which is rich in carbohydrates and fats and lack of physical activity/exercise.

High level of bad cholesterol in blood has no sign or symptoms and many people do not realise they have it. Therefore, it is advised to do a routine check-up.

Things to do

  • Experts advise to cut the intake of dairy products, refined sugar, flour and bakery products because these are rich in trans fats.
  • Sedentary lifestyle, lack of exercise, intake of trans-fatty food lead to the formation of bad cholesterol and also make people more prone to other risk factors of heart diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and obesity.
  • Along with medicines including statins that are available to effectively lower the levels of bad cholesterol, leading a healthy lifestyle and regular exercise is paramount to keep the cholesterol levels in check. 

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