As far back as 1959, medical researchers in Singapore already reported a higher incidence of coronary heart disease among Indians. Overseas research on South Asians – covering those of Indian descent born on the Indian subcontinent, including Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan – found that they have at least twice, if not thrice, the rate of heart disease compared to other ethnic groups in their countries.

Gunjan Kapoor, director of interventional cardiology at Noida’s Jaypee Hospital has stated that Indians have a genetic predisposition to developing heart diseases and it occurs in them at a much younger age.  “It has also been seen that Indians who have migrated to different countries continue have higher incidence of heart disease compared to natives of that country,” said Kapoor.

According to statistics, cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in India and it has been estimated that by 2015 the number of deaths will rise to 2.94 million.  Anil Bansal, chief cardiologist at Ghaziabad’s Columbia Asia Hospital, said “We need to make people aware that with some modifications in their lifestyle they can prevent heart diseases”. 

Cardiologists and healthcare professionals suggest that dancing, walking, cycling and swimming activities that use larger muscles at low resistance – are good aerobic exercises as some simple yet effective ways to keep heart diseases at bay. Dr. Nikhil Kumar, director, Cardiology, Fortis Memorial Research Institute had pointed out that “Regular exercise is an important approach to lowering the risk of heart disease because it simultaneously affects various risk factors of heart disease”.