heart disease - urban IndiaUrban India is moving towards obesity-related lifestyle diseases like diabetes and hypertension from infectious diseases due to a sedentary life, poor eating habits and lack of physical activity, Apollo Hospitals cardiologist Girish B. Navasundi told a leading news wire, citing the Marico Ltd study conducted online in 12 cities across the country during the last two fiscal years (2010-12).

Noting that the hectic lifestyle in cities was making more young Indians prone to cardiovascular disease (CVD), diabetes, hypertension and cancer, Navasundi said lack of physical activity and reduced fibre intake through whole grains were the two main reasons for high risk of heart and life-threatening diseases.

Around 74 percent of urban Indians face the risk of heart attack, with their heart age greater than biological age. Similarly, 75 percent of males in the 30-34 age group have coronary symptoms compared to 57 percent females, showing how younger male work force is falling prey to such diseases, Navasundi pointed out. As a result, productivity of urban India will decline with an adverse impact on the country’s growth in the long-term.

The ‘Saffola life study 2012′ , carried out on the lines of the US-based Framingham heart study, covered over 112,000 people in the 30-80 age group across a dozen cities.

Among the metros, Bangalore ranked at the top for high cholesterol levels, Chennai for diabetes, Kolkata for cancer due to highest number of smokers, Ahmedabad for anemia due to poor intake of fruits and Delhi for obesity due to lack of exercise and high consumption of fatty foods.

Around 75 percent of Bangalore respondents facing CVD risk are overweight, with 78 percent of them having very high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, as 72 percent of them consume less than two servings of healthy whole grains, Navasundi said.

Terming the survey findings a wake-up call for all stakeholders, Nutritionists Republic consultant Manjari Chandra said CVD deaths were projected to touch a whopping 2.5 million by 2020 from 1.1 million in 1990, with a majority of them from the productive working age group (30-44).Nationally, 59 percent of those surveyed in the 30-49 age group has high risk levels of cholesterol and 61 percent in the 30-49 age group has dangerously low levels of ‘good’ HDL cholesterol, Chandra told IANS.

Among the respondents, one in six were smokers in the younger age group. Smoking increases blood pressure and releases free radicals which are detrimental to heart health. In the 30-34 age group, 96 percent disclosed that they were taking medication for controlling blood pressure to minimise the risk of developing CVD, Navasundi noted.

Cautioning against high dependence on processed and fried foods, Chandra said a menu devoid of vegetables, fruits and whole grains make people vulnerable to heart disease. Of the respondents in the 30-49 age group, 66 percent reported higher heart age than actual age due to obesity and rise in their body mass index, showing an increasing trend as the age increased.

At the national level, about 70 percent of respondents are obese and Delhi emerged as the overweight capital with highest rate of wider waists, followed by Kochi, Hyderabad and Chennai. Delhi also emerged as the fried-food capital with 14 percent participants admitting to consuming this more than four times a week.

During the last three years, Marico carried out free cholesterol checks and conducted free diagnostic tests on those who were unaware of their blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels. ”The objective of the survey is to spread awareness of the heart ailments risk in the country and make a holistic attempt to reduce deaths caused by cardiovascular diseases,” a Marico official told IANS. The study also found that 64 percent of respondents in the 30-34 age group were at the risk of developing CVD, indicating that a significant proportion of youngsters face heart disease. ”In people between 40 and 44 years of age, the percentage of ‘at risk’ population goes up to about 80 percent,” the study noted. As far as dietary habits and lifestyles go, it is the 40-44 years age group which is highly negligent.

The CVD risk is uniform across cities with Bangalore and Delhi struggling with bad cholesterol, whereas Mumbai and Ahmedabad are failing to maintain a good cholesterol level.

Source: IANS

  • Bir Singh Yadav

    Which disease is not a life style disease? Or is it just another terminology to save face of medical science? It is combative nature of medical science which has distanced common man from good health. Actually every disease is a friend of mankind if only we try to learn the message it gives. Unfortunately we kill the messenger and believe we are wise.

  • shekhar dolli

    I am 81 and free from diabetes and hypertension. However, I have Arrhythmia. I feel quite healthy and work like people who are about fifty. I do not understand why most people want to spend their money on alcohol and cigarettes and refuse to eat fruits, vegetables and whole grains food. Going slow in life and doing exercise can give anyone a long and healthy life. T. V addiction is further adding to to the problem.

    • kunal

      well noted. I think this is the effect of “lifestyle” that we’ve borrowed from the west


    Article is so useful for Young Indians Like me to know what to do and what not to do as per Girish analysis. Thanks to Girish Sir for providing such a nice article to educate the educated indians transforming their lives so misery due to hectic life style especially IT PROFESSIONALS.

  • Sanjay

    These diseases are among rich classes with dirty money. No sympathy for them. I am personally very happy to see them dig their own graves by their wealth. Their sins of ill-gotten money by either cheating the country or by exploiting the poor are catching up on them. It is a great equalizing factor at play by nature and destiny.

    • hema

      Very informative article. The facts present here are quite surprising. We Indians’ are no more behind in life style disease . But most of the life style diseases are preventive and person can overcome them by slight change in life style , eating habit and adopting active life style. Thanks for grt info.