Young too at ‘heart' of the problem

Mumbai cardiologists have reported a rise in the number of youngsters, even teenagers, suffering from heart ailments.

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While the globe observes World Heart Day on Thursday, Mumbaikars do not seem to care about their hearts. Heart ailments are no longer restricted to the elderly.

City cardiologists have reported a rise in the number of youngsters, even teenagers, suffering from heart ailments.

Doctors attribute this to sedentary lifestyles and stress.
On September 22, Bhiwandi resident Mohammed Sharif Ansari, 31, underwent an angioplasty at Nair hospital. “I used to smoke three packets of cigarettes every day for more than a decade,” said Ansari, who has kicked the butt. 

He used to suffer from chest pains but he ignored it as he thought he was too young to suffer from any heart problems. “But, last week, the pain was severe and I visited a cardiologist. I was shocked when the angiography revealed three blockages in my heart.”

The number of people suffering from heart ailments has tripled in the last few years, especially among those below 40 years of age.
“I recently did an angioplasty on a 16-year-old boy. Lifestyles have changed and people are into unhealthy eating habits. I have patients who are 25 to 35 years old,” said Dr Ajay Chaurasia, cardiology department head, Nair hospital.

“Earlier, hardly 2% of people below 40 years of age suffered from heart ailments. Now, the number has touched 40%. The youngest I have operated on was a 17-year-old,” said Dr Ramakant Panda, one of India’s leading cardiologists.

According to the Cardiological Society of India, more than two lakh Indians underwent angioplasty and around 1.5 lakh had bypass surgeries in 2010. Of these, 5% were in Mumbai, which accounts for a little over 1% of India’s total population. 

Cardiac surgeries have been increasing at a steady 20% each year, said Dr Dev Pahlajani, chief interventional cardiologist at Breach Candy Hospital. At this rate, the number of patients with heart ailments is expected to touch 60 lakh by 2025.

A recent survey conducted by Metropolis Healthcare found that women from Mumbai between 25 and 45 years of age have alarmingly high cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which are major risk factors heart diseases.

The survey screened 93,316 samples across four tests by enzymatic methods to evaluate the risk factors for coronary diseases in both men and women.

Of the 32,634 who tested positive — cholesterol and triglycerides were present in their blood stream — 17,379 were men and 15,255 women. Though the lipid levels in men was more than that in women, 5,172 women had higher cholesterol levels than 3,368 men.

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