DID YOU KNOW?
In 2008, heart related diseases accounted for 24% of all deaths caused by non-communicable diseases. In other words 12,57,936 people died of heart diseases or cardiovascular diseases (CVDs).
In 2004, total number of deaths due to ischaemic heart disease (IHD) was 5,54,194. Out of that 2,55,782 people died in urban areas while 2,98,412 died in rural areas.
The total number of DALYs for IHD in 2004 was estimated at 1,60,00,808. (1 DALY equals one lost year of healthy life.) The total number of YLL (Years of Life Lost due to premature death) for IHD stood at 49,52,150.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) related deaths are expected to rise from 27 lakh in 2004 to 40 lakh by 2030.
The prevalence of coronary heart disease (CHD) ranges from 6.6% to 12.7% in urban and 2.1% to 4.3% in rural India, among those aged 20 years or older.
It is estimated that there are currently 3 crore CHD patients, with 1.4 crore residing in rural and 1.6 crore in urban areas. But these are likely underestimates given that surveys do not include those CHD patients without the symptoms.
As compared to other countries CVD in India is characterized by early onset and premature death and higher cases of deaths related to complications from CVD. Also the diseases manifest more easily in Indians than their Western counterparts, particularly from risk-factors like overweight and obesity.
CVD disproportionately affects the young in India with 52% of deaths occurring under the age of 70 years compared to just 23% in Western countries.
Consequently, the country suffers a very high loss in potential productive years of life because of premature CVD deaths among those aged 35 to 64 years: 92 lakh years lost in 2000 and 1.79 crore years expected to be lost in 2030.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I’M HAVING A HEART ATTACK?
A heart attack takes place when blood supply to a part of the heart is interrupted, causing heart cells to die. The interruption is caused by accumulation of fatty particles called plaque inside the walls of the pipes (arteries) carrying blood to the heart. A lack of blood supply results in the shortage of oxygen, which if left untreated for a sufficient period of time leads to death.
A heart attack is a medical emergency and should be attended to with highest priority. The most common symptom for a heart attack is chest pain. The sensation is often described as tightness, pressure or squeezing. The pain may be felt in only one part of the body or it may also move from the chest to the left arm (most often), lower jaw, neck, right arm, back, and upper central region of the abdomen. Other symptoms of a heart attack include anxiety, cough, fainting, light headedness/dizziness, nausea or vomiting, palpitations, shortness of breath and sweating which may be heavy.
HOW CAN I PREVENT IT?
Cardiovascular diseases such as coronary heart disease (CHD) or ischaemic heart disease (IHD) lead to a heart attack. Such diseases are non-communicable, i.e., they do not spread through infection or contamination. Also known as lifestyle diseases, their onset depends on health habits in most cases. Keeping the blood pressure in strict control by eating food that is less in fat and oil content, cessation of smoking, limitation of alcohol intake and regular physical exercise can reduce the incidence of heart diseases and heart attacks by a great margin. In addition, regular screening of the heart with a preventive health check-up helps in early detection of blockage. Some of the tests commonly recommended are lipid profile, 2D echocardiogram, CT scan, etc.