Heart disease among young people is on the rise in the country. Experts say that Indians get heart diseases 10 years earlier than their western counterparts.
Furthermore, according to an analysis conducted by National Intervention Council on 3.5 lakh heart patients, 1 in every 10 heart surgeries in 2015 were carried out on people below the age of 40.
The urban population is three times more prone to heart attacks then the rural population. The primary reason for this is more stress at both workplace and at home.
Also, westernization of our diets, urbanization of our lifestyle and pollution also play a major role in heart diseases.
Little or no exercise, junk food, smoking, drinking and obesity are other more key reasons for heart diseases among young people. Increase in weight leads to various hormonal changes in the body and increases inflammation, thus increasing risk of heart diseases. Other reasons for heart diseases are fluctuations in cholesterol level in the body, diabetes and hypertension.
So what can we do to combat this? We spoke to Dr Naresh Trehan who is a world-renowned cardiovascular surgeon, and here are his top 5 tips to prevent heart disease and heart attacks:
1. Smoking and Alcohol consumption
No smoking, alcohol none or in moderation (a glass of wine a day or two small drinks twice or thrice a week).
If you have diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol, keep them in strict control.
3. Exercise regularly
You must exercise 5-7 days a week for 45-60 minutes or walk 5-6 km. Keep your weight under control. This can easily be checked by Body Mass Index (BMI), which should be 19-25 (BMI = Weight in KG/height in meters squared, eg 70Kg/165cmx165cm).
4. Reduce stress
Stress reduction with yoga, gardening, music or any other hobbies. Take breaks from work. Periodic vacations serve as a great stress buster.
5. Regular checkups
Must do a regular checkup at least once at the age of 25 years and then annually after the age of 35. If there is a family history of high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol or heart disease in a first degree relative below 65 years of age, then this should be disclosed to your doctor and checkup plan frequency modified suitably.
(Dr. Naresh Trehan is the Chairman and Managing Director of Medanta – The Medicity and has five decades of experience in the field of cardiovascular surgery. He is a recipient of the Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan awards.)
Can Garlic Help In Controlling Cholesterol? Our Expert Has The Answer
High levels of bad cholesterol or LDL cholesterol in your blood can increase risks of heart disease. It is thus important to ensure that your cholesterol levels are under control at all times. Low density lipoprotein (LDL) and high density lipoprotein (HDL) are the two kinds of cholesterol , where the former is referred to as the bad cholesterol and the latter as good cholesterol. While cholesterol is made in the liver, there are certain foods that can increase cholesterol levels. These foods are primarily those high in saturated and trans fat. Similarly, there are foods that lower your cholesterol levels, and one such food item is garlic.
Garlic is a spice which is popular for its benefits on digestion, high blood pressure and inflammation to name a very few. However, there are some studies which talk about cholesterol improving properties of garlic as well.
WebMD says that garlic may reduce total cholesterol in the body by a few percentage points. This however, may only be for the short term. It further adds that garlic may prolong bleeding and blood clotting time. Thus, intake of garlic should be avoided before surgery or intake of any blood thinning drugs.
We ask clinical nutritionist Dr Rupali Datta about garlic and its cholesterol-reducing properties. She says, “Allicin is the active compound in garlic, which may be contributing to lowering cholesterol. However, it is more effective in controlling heart diseases vis a vis blood thinning and its anti-inflammatory properties. There are some studies which have talked about minor effect of garlic on cholesterol,” she says.
Foods that help in lowering cholesterol
Legumes are rich in minerals, fibre and protein. Some studies say that including legumes in your diet can lower bad cholesterol in the body.
Healthline mentions that some vegetables contain soluble fibre that can help in reducing cholesterol levels in the body. Vegetables like eggplants, carrots and potatoes can all be included in your diet to keep cholesterol and weight under control. They are good for heart health.
3. Berries and fruits:
Fruits are rich in soluble fibre that help in lowering cholesterol levels in the body. Berries and grapes contain plant compounds that can increase good cholesterol and reduce bad cholesterol in the body.
4. Almonds and walnuts:
Including nuts in your diet can be good for heart health. Nuts contain monounsaturated fats. Walnuts contain omega 3s and almonds contain L-arginine, which is an amino acid that helps the body make nitric oxide. This helps in regulating blood pressure.
5. Fatty fish:
Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel and tune are rich sources of omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3s are good for heart health as they reduce inflammation and stroke risk, and increase levels of good cholesterol in the body.
(Dr Rupali Datta is Consultant Nutritionist at Fortis Escorts)
Most hip and knee replacements ‘last longer than thought’
Eight out of 10 knee replacements and six out of 10 hip replacements last as long as 25 years, said a large study from the University of Bristol.
This is much longer than believed, the researchers said, and the findings will help patients and surgeons decide when to carry out surgery, BBC reported.
To date, there has been little data on the success of new hips and knees.
But this Lancet research looked at 25 years’ worth of operations, involving more than 500,000 people.
Hip and knee replacements are two of the most common forms of surgery in National Health Service (NHS), but doctors often struggle to answer questions from patients on how long the implants will last.
Nearly 200,000 of the operations were performed in 2017 in England and Wales, with most carried out on people between 60 and 80 years old.
Dr. Jonathan Evans, orthopedic registrar, lead study author and research fellow at Bristol Medical School said, “At best, the NHS has only been able to say how long replacements are designed to last, rather than referring to actual evidence from multiple patients’ experiences of joint replacement surgery.
“Given the improvement in technology and techniques in the last 25 years, we expect that hip or knee replacements put in today may last even longer.”
As the aging population grows, and life expectancy rises, this becomes even more important, Evans added.
Chronic inflammation can lead to memory problems: Study
Acute inflammation, that results from injury and does not heal or is recurring, might lead to thinking problems, say experts. The report, which has been published in Neurology, further states that psychological stress and nagging infection can also trigger chronic inflammation.
In order to arrive at this result, blood tests on 12,336 men and women who were of the average age of 57, were conducted. These reports were then segregated and given a “inflammation composite score” based on factors like clotting, white blood cell count, and other tests. The cognitive facilities of the participants were also assessed through routine tests of verbal fluency, memory and processing speed. The study has been quoted in The New York Times.
After controlling for factors like age, blood pressure, heart disease, education, and many others, it was deduced that more the number of inflammatory factors, greater the chance of cognitive decline over 20 years of follow-up. Decline in memory seems to be strongly associated with inflammation.
“We know that dementia starts earlier than the appearance of symptoms,” Keenan A Walker, lead author and a postdoctoral researcher at Johns Hopkins said. “We’ve shown that levels of inflammation matter for dementia risk. Reducing chronic inflammation involves the same health behaviors that we already know are important for other reasons — regular exercise, healthy diet, avoiding excessive weight gain and so on,” Walker added.