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Thirties are the new fifties for heart disease

Men In 30-39 Age Group In High-Risk Category;Those In Mumbai,Chennai Worst Off: Survey

The Times of India, New Delhi

Malathy Iyer | TNN

Mumbai: When it comes to heart diseases, the thirties, it seems, are the new fifties.

If the typical heart patient until five years back was in his mid-fifties, doctors say this no longer holds true. Now, the man with blockages in his heart is most probably in the 30-39 age group and with another health complication such as diabetes or hypertension.

The Saffolalife Study 2009, covering 8,469 people, found that 49.1% Indians were at high risk for developing heart diseases. On the eve of World Heart Day, the multi-city survey found that this bunchs vital heart statistic the ratio of total cholesterol and the good cholesterol (called HDL) is too high at 4.5 to be termed healthy. The American Heart Association holds that the ideal ratio between total cholesterol and HDL is one lower.

The survey also found that men in the 30-39 age group 1,598 of the total surveyed fell in the high risk category.

Men from Mumbai and Chennai were worst off (with a high risk ratio of 49.6% and 53.8% respectively ) as compared to men in Kolkata and Delhi (32% and 29.7% respectively). The survey attributed the difference in the risk rates for Mumbais men to longer commuting time, long working hours, unhealthy eating habits, lack of physical activity and erratic eating schedules. Other cities had better lifestyle habits, it added.

According to Dr Shashank Joshi, endocrinologist with Lilavati Hospital in Bandra, who was associated with the survey, The survey only underlines what we are seeing. We are seeing abnormal cholesteral and trigylcerides in the younger age group nowadays. In fact, the 20-40 age group is the new vulnerable group as far as heart disease go. He blames the high levels of stress and disrupted sleep patterns for the development.

Dr N O Bansal, who heads the cardiology department of J J Hospital in Byculla, says, There is no more denying the fact that as compared to a Caucasian youngster, the Indian youngster is more prone to heart diseases. It is a combination of genetic as well as lifestyle factors, he says.
Stating that the younger phase of heart diseases was apparent about five years back, he says his department a referral centre for the entire state gets men who are under 30 years as well.
Cardiologist Dr Manjeet Juneja, who consults at Wockhardt Hospital in Mulund, says that the heart diseases are happening 15 years too early for most people because of preventable causes.
Youngsters who smoke, binge on junk food and are physically inactive are most prone to heart diseases, he says.

He recalls a 23-year-old who was brought to our hospital from Nashik. The boy had been tense about getting admission to an MBA course and had smoked a cigarette 30 minutes before collapsing, says Dr Juneja.A combination of stress, slight obesity and smoke led to a coronary hyper-responsiveness in the youngster who was managed with medicines alone.

Keep Walking

Moderate physical activity, like a 35-40 min brisk walk per day, is associated with a 55% lower risk, Make exercise a part of your routine

Green And Lean

Have low-saturated-fat, trans fat-free, low cholesterol foods like fruits & vegetables; whole grain products like whole wheat bread; whole grain cereal; brown rice & whole wheat pasta; fatfree & low-fat milk products; lean meats & poultry without skin; fatty fish baked or grilled; beans and peas; nuts and seeds in limited amounts; skimmed milk & fat-free cheese.
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