My Heart Your Heart- Celebrating World Heart Day 2019

27 September 2019 | Features

CVD, including heart disease and stroke, is the world’s leading cause of death claiming 17.9 million lives each year image credit- image credit-

Back in 2012, world leaders committed to reducing global mortality from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) by 25% by 2025. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is accountable for nearly half of all NCD deaths making it the world’s number one killer. World Heart Day, celebrated on 29 September, is the perfect platform for the CVD community to unite in the fight against CVD and reduce the global disease burden.

Created by the World Heart Federation, World Heart Day informs people around the globe that CVD, including heart disease and stroke, is the world’s leading cause of death claiming 17.9 million lives each year, and highlights the actions that individuals can take to prevent and control CVD.

On this occasion, NuFFooDS Spectrum brings to you a collection of views, observations and findings from a bunch of healthcare experts in India-


“To raise awareness and control the rising number of people being affected by cardiovascular diseases, the World Heart federation founded World Heart Day in 2000. An annual initiative to spread the word about how premature mortality due to cardiovascular diseases (CVD) can be combatted, 29th September is marked as the World Health Day. CVDs and heart problems are growing to become the most common epidemic of our era and hence require attention and action on a large scale by small steps at the earliest.

World Heart Day is observed to promote various steps and the changes in one’s lifestyle that can prevent card cardiovascular conditions like heart attack, heart failure, stroke, and any other related condition. The day is aimed to facilitate action to educate people how controlling the risk factors through diet and other routine habits can help avoid so many deaths due to CVDs which have become the number one killer today.

This year, the World Heart Day is themed around asking the world to be ‘Heart Heroes’ by making a heart promise to someone they love or care about to eat a better healthy diet, to stay more active, to stay no to smoking, etc.”

Dr S Venkatesh, Lead Consultant – Interventional Cardiologist, Aster RV Hospital


“More than 90% of sudden deaths are Cardiac in nature and one of the major reason is dangerous (abnormal) rhythms arising from lower chambers of heart (Ventricles), called ventricular arrhythmias. Sudden Cardiac death can be very effectively prevented by implanting a device called ICD (Implantable cardioverter defibrillator). This device is implanted under local anesthesia where a wire (lead) goes into the Right ventricle & device is implanted under Left clavicle (left side of the chest) under the skin. This device monitors heart Rythm 24x 7 & can diagnose dangerous Rhythm problems in 5-10 seconds & can give automatically electric shock to rectify the abnormal Rhythm to take it to normal. The efficacy of ICD to revive a Cardiac arrest victim is to the tune of 97%, thus it is highly successful device. Even now another latest ICD is available which is called Subcutaneous ICD wherein no wire (lead) goes inside the heart. Usually the battery of this device lasts 10-14 years. Implantable cardioverter defibrillator, ICD is considered to be life saving device for prevention of patients with sudden cardiac death.”

Dr. T S Kler (Padma Bhushan), interventional cardiologist and Chairman of Pushpawati Singhania Hospital & Research Institute (PSRI) Heart Institute, New Delhi


“Menopause is one important condition associated with the heart diseases. It is found that Estrogen helps protect women against Heart Disease. During Menopause, as Estrogen levels drop, the level of fat in a woman's blood can surge. These changes puts a woman at risk of developing Heart and Circulatory System Disorders such as high Blood Pressure, high cholesterol, Stroke and Heart Disease. One can certainly control the external factors such as lifestyle, habits, and behavior that impact our health such as getting annual checkups done, stop smoking, following proper diet, doing regular exercise and stress management.”

Dr Hasmukh Ravat, Senior Interventional Cardiologist & Ms Minal Shah Senior Nutrition Therapist, Fortis Hospital, Mumbai


“On the occasion of cardiomyopathy awareness month, and World Heart Day, Mumbai Wadia Children’s Cardiac Center has released data of 100 patients suffering from cardiomyopathy at Cardiomyopathy and heart failure clinic which was launched last year at BJ Wadia Hospital. As per the study conducted by the Drs and team At ‘Cardiomyopathy and Heart Failure Clinic’ in Wadia Hospital, 33 cases were with vitamin D and calcium deficiency, 29 were with infective, 27 were cancer therapy-induced. Few more were with metabolic disease and most were idiopathic (as the western statistics mention that 75% do not have a known cause of cardiomyopathy). In the study, 80 boys and 64 girls of paediatric age group were considered. Cardiomyopathy in children can be either acquired (i.e. post-viral infection, cancer therapy or dietary nutrient deficiency) or inherited with either or both parents being affected. The team is in the process of setting up the cardiomyopathy registry to collaborate with other centers in India managing such children to facilitate planned and uniform care across the nation. The need is also to set up cost-effective and affordable genetic and metabolic testing laboratories in the city to enable clinicians to reach a correct diagnosis and facilitate optimal counseling and care for children with cardiomyopathy.”

 Dr Minnie Bodhanwala, CEO, Wadia Hospitals


“This World Heart Day, Saffolalife through its flagship study talks about commonly ignored lifestyle habits and their high correlation to heart risk. Even more eye-opening is the lack of awareness of the impact of these habits on heart health. The key finding that emerges from the study is that 64% people in the top Indian cities who exhibit one or more of behaviours like lack of sleep, stress, sedentary lifestyle, skipping meals and belly fat, are at heart risk. Lifestyle diseases are definitely a growing concern amongst the medical fraternity and Heart Disease has emerged as one of the most serious of these in the last few years. However most people do not understand how these small lifestyle behaviours can impact their heart. This study states that 90% of people who sleep less than 7.5 hours a day and are at heart risk, do not even consider sleep as a critical risk factor. Such basic lifestyle habits that we ignore today can lead to much bigger issues. This study is a wake-up call for us to start considering proactive understanding of heart health as a key factor while ensuring overall body health.”

Dr. Shashank Joshi, Endocrinologist, Diabetologist, Apollo Hospitals


“Lifestyle plays such an important role in our overall body health, yet it’s the factor that most are unaware of.  The Saffolalife study shows a strong correlation between your lifestyle and heart health risk. Every individual can start making small but significant changes in their lifestyle by not ignoring these small habits and making a positive change in their lifestyles. This is easily done by eating right, exercising regularly, sleeping well and reducing stress.”

Niti Desai, Nutritionist


"Depression and Cardiovascular Diseases (CVD) have major association, up to 15% of patients with CVD and 20% of patients who have undergone Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG) suffer from Depression hampering their recovery from the primary event. Prolonged Depression after a coronary event can increases the risk of mortality to 17%, as has compared to 3% risk in patients who don’t suffer from Depression. This is caused by certain Depression triggered physiological changes such as increased Heart rate, increased blood clotting, increased pro-inflammatory markers like CRP, etc. It also increases pain and hampers with cardiac rehabilitation post-surgery. American Heart Association has now recommended that all cardiac patients be screened for Depression, so that early treatment can be instituted."



"Any form of Obesity is bad, but some forms are worse. Look at yourself in the mirror, if you look like an Apple i.e. if your belly or waist is bigger than your hips then you have Truncal obesity. This excessive fat around your vital organs like intestines, is harmful and leads to Hypertension, Diabetes and increases the levels of bad cholesterol. Don’t be an apple. Moderate aerobic exercises daily for 30 minutes at least on 5 days a week, calorie restriction by reducing the portions of your meal, avoiding red meats, high fat dairy products, refined carbohydrates, aerated drinks, oily foods and replacing these with whole grains, fruits, vegetable and low fat dairy products is the way to go."



"Cardiovascular Diseases are the leading cause of death and loss of productive years globally. The major risk factors leading to a spike in the incidence of heart disease are bad food habits, Hypertension, air pollution, high cholesterol and tobacco usage.  In majority of the cases, there were multiple factors. As the socio-economic status of Indians has increased in the last 2 decades, the incidence of Cardiovascular Disease has increased, indicating that Coronary Artery Disease is more of a lifestyle disease now. Diabetes and Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) account for smaller amounts of Atherosclerotic CVD in India. Dietary abnormalities such as low intake of fruit, vegetables, nuts, and seafood-derived Omega-3 Dats, coupled with elevated Sodium exposure, intake of processed meats, low intake of fiber and whole grains, accounted for more disease in India. Ambient air pollution, persistent organic pollutants, and exposure to solid fuels are larger risks to the population in India. Studies suggest that higher incidence of heart ailments increased Abdominal Obesity, type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, and Dyslipidemia."



"Indians are being affected by Coronary Artery Disease 10yrs ahead of their western counterparts. Today, 7% of youngsters (between the age of 25 -35 years), 12-15% of non-Diabetic and 21% Diabetic young Indians (between 35-60 years) are diagnosed with Coronary Artery Disease. This is attributed to physical inactivity, wrong dietary choices i.e. high intake of junk foods, carbohydrates and oily foods, excessive smoking (75%), alcohol consumption, substance abuse, and high stress due to poor work-life balance. Prevention should start from childhood and be supplemented by regular cardiac screening in schools and colleges every 3-4 years; regular physical exercise programs in schools, colleges and workplaces is a must; an active yoga session can be conducted daily. Reduction of sugar intake, carbonated drinks and salt (sodium) in foods is absolutely essential."



“It is always better to eat wisely, exercise regularly, keep away from any kind of tobacco and have regular check-ups with our own doctors. Remember, the first pain is too late. It does not mean the beginning of problems but rather signals the end of tolerance. So, the best cure is not to have problem at all.” 

Dr. Kunal Sarkar, Senior Vice-Chairman & Senior Consultant Cardiac Surgeon, Medica Superspecialty Hospital


"With proper lifestyle changes, one can reduce the risk of heart attack by reducing bad cholesterol and controlling blood pressure and blood sugar.  A happy and a healthy mind can only co-exist with a Healthy Heart.” 

Dr. Dilip Kumar, Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, Medica Superspecialty Hospital


"One of the most important constituents of a Good Life is Good Health. Yet over the past few years we are witnessing unprecedented rise in lifestyle ailments - including those pertaining to heart disease. Changing lifestyles that are characterized with stressed work environments, lack of exercise, improper diet etc., altogether have led to a situation where the average age of an individual getting diagnosed with a heart condition has come down in the last 5 years from 55 years to 40 years. 

Healthy Diet – The most important thing, you need to follow in your routine is eating a healthy diet, rich in nutrients. After all, nutrition is the key to overall health. According to a research, a diet consisting of nutritious foods like 43 grams of almonds every day, will lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and reduce heart attacks. Other healthy heart food options that should be  on your platter are salmon, mackerel, green leafy vegetables, whole grains, avocados,  fish oil, walnuts, beans, dark chocolates etc.

Stay Active – Just a healthy diet alone does not suffice. One must add walking, running or some other form of basic exercise in their daily routine. American Heart Association recommends a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercises every week. In a world where we are more connected than ever before, have access to information and mobile apps that helps one track their health status, calories etc., staying young and healthy is just a matter of effectively making use of these sources.

Regular Health check-ups  – It is wise to periodically assess one’s health status. This helps in identifying any underlying ailments much in advance so that one is able to better manage the same.

Say no to Smoking and tobacco – Even though the perils of smoking are known to one and all, still people tend to ignore this. Smoking doesn’t just impact an individual’s physical well-being but also their emotional and mental well-being. Excessive smoking aside cancers is among the key reasons for heart attacks and other heart related issues such as stroke and angina, moreover, the chemicals in tobacco harm the blood cells and damage the structure and function of blood vessels Smoking doubles the rate of heart diseases and that’s one added reason to quit smoking."

Anuj Gulati, MD & CEO, Religare Health Insurance 






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