Heart disease is not a single disorder or condition. There are several factors that increase the risk of heart diseases and associated conditions. These include age, gender, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels and stress.
According to government data, the prevalence of heart failure in India due to coronary heart disease, hypertension, obesity, diabetes and rheumatic heart disease ranges from 1.3 to 4.6 million. The report of industry lobby Assocham said that with India’s economic growth and urbanization over the past decades, a large section of the population has moved towards unhealthy lifestyles with decreasing physical activity, increasing stress levels and intake of saturated fats and tobacco.
The president of Heart Care Foundation of India K.K. Aggarwal asserting that 2.4 million Indians die due to heart disease every year also indicated that this numbers continue to grow due to common lifestyle factors such as stress, unhealthy eating habits, lack of sleep and dependence on alcohol and cigarettes. “There is urgent need to raise awareness about preventive factors and provide practical solutions to the widespread problem”, he said.
According to Aggarwal over 50% of the patients suffering from a heart attack die just because they are unable to reach the hospital in time. “Another important factor is that 130,000 children in India are born with congenital heart disease every year and can live a healthy life with timely intervention,” he added.
Though the government had initiated an integrated National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancers, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Strokes, not much has been achieved on this front.