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What are your chances of getting a heart attack?
May 16, 2005
o more complicated medical jargon on the state of your heart!
A simple risk score scale can tell you whether you are likely to have a heart attack in the next ten years.
Here are some questions you need to answer:
- Do you smoke?
- Are you diabetic?
- Is your blood pressure high?
- Does your ECG show any abnormal graph?
If yes, the risk scale would say you are most likely to get the Coronary Artery Disease in next ten years, says a new book, Heart Talk: Roadmap To A Healthy Heart.
The risk score scale is different for men and women. It works on a simple logic: with each risk factor, the chances of having a heart attack or dying of heart disease over the next ten years increases, say authors Dr Yatish Agarwal and Rekha Agarwal.
The risk factors: Smoking, high blood cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, physical inactivity, Syndrome X, emotional stress.
Consider this: Over the last three decades, cases of coronary artery disease in India have risen threefold. An estimated 12 out of 100 people living in cities; and seven out of 100 in rural India suffer from heart disease.
"With the structure of India's age pyramid undergoing a metamorphosis and more people coming under the age bracket
where the disease may strike, the number of coronary patients is growing at a worrying pace," says Dr Agarwal, a senior physician at Safdarjang Hospital, New Delhi.
"Unless the tide is stemmed, India would soon be the hub of coronary disease. By one estimate, 60 percent of the
world's coronary heart patients will be in India by 2010," he says.
Did you know?
i. The disease strikes Indians at a much younger age than in other countries. It is often seen among people who have just crossed their thirties and forties.
ii. Indian patients have a more diffused form of disease. The length of coronary vessel affected is longer compared to their Western counterparts. This makes the job of cardiologists and heart surgeons more difficult, says Dr Agarwal.
Mantras For a Rosy Heart
Dr Agarwal suggests the following to avoid the danger of heart disease:
1. Stop smoking!
2. Eat right.
3. Stress on natural foods. Salads and fruits make the best snacks.
Switch to low fat dairy products, restrict meat, poultry, eggs and alcohol.
4. A brisk walk, for about 30 to 60 minutes each day, can help you attain the fitness level associated with a longer, healthier life.
Regular exercise most days of the week reduce risk of death from all causes, including heart disease by about three
The heart's sworn enemies!
The book says diabetes and blood pressure are two sworn enemies of the heart.
The best strategy to counter the risk is to keep them under control.
In a separate handbook, High Blood Pressure: Tame the Stealth Killer, Dr Agarwal and Rekha, an editor with the National Council of Educational Research and Training, write about stress relaxation techniques, weight loss programmes and diet therapy to manage it.
Blood pressure in India reflects a worrying trend, more so in urban areas. According to a recent study, one-fourth of the adult males and nearly 28 percent of the adult females in Delhi have high blood pressure.
The numbers were half of these in rural Haryana.
Data from other parts of the country also reveals a similar trend. Diabetes is also being increasingly found in children!
Calling it a wake-up call for the health planners, the book says, "Blood pressure is directly linked to weight gain. The relation is so strong that being overweight increases the risk of developing high blood pressure two to six times."
In managing blood pressure, lifestyle changes play an important role. Lose excess weight, do some regular to moderate exercise, cut down on salt and alcohol and go for relaxation therapy!
Heart Talk: Your Roadmap to a Healthy Heart;
High Blood Pressure: Tame the Stealth Killer
By Dr Yatish Agarwal and Rekha Agarwal
Rajkamal Books; Rs 40 each