In a three-year-long study conducted in 12 cities across India, it has been found that 51 per cent of Mumbaikars have low levels of the heart-protecting high-density lipoprotein (HDL), also known as ‘good’ cholesterol. The study has also revealed that over 70 per cent of the urban Indian population is at the risk of being diagnosed with cardiovascular disease.
The Saffola Life study covered more than 1.86 lakh people between the ages of 30 and 100. “A sedentary lifestyle, in addition to stressful work conditions and a compromised diet are leading factors in precipitating heart disease risk. This has affected the heart health of people between the ages of 30 and 44,” said Dr Akshay Mehta, senior cardiologist, Asian Heart Hospital.
Of the 29,017 Mumbaikars who participated in the study, 44 per cent reported that they consume preserved or processed foods at least twice a week, and 42 per cent said that they eat fried foods at least twice a week. Additionally, 71 per cent of them were guilty of consuming two or less servings of fibre-rich whole grains in their diet.
“Now it is fairly common to see youth suffering from heart strokes. Five years ago, we hardly saw young patients with heart problems. Now, we get many cases where cardiovascular disease affects people in the age group of 25 to 35,” said Dr Ajay Chaurasia, head of cardiology department, BYL Nair Hospital.
The study also revealed that at 12 per cent, Mumbai was one of the cities with the least number of respondents with diabetes, which experts see as a good sign. The study also showed that Mumbaikars are keen on keeping themselves fit, with a substantial 64 per cent of respondents agreeing that they exercise thrice a week or less.