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CVD deaths: Steps needed on urgent basis


Mysuru, September 29:-Every year nearly 17.9 million people die from cardio vascular diseases (CVDs), which accounts for an estimated 31% of all deaths and half of all non-communicable disease related deaths across the globe and CVDs are the number one cause of death. It is estimated that by 2030, the number of deaths due to CVDs, mainly from heart disease and stroke may go up to 23.6 million.

Nearly 1.1 billion people are suffering from increased blood pressure, also known as hypertension or BP. However, only one in five BP patients is keeping it under control. To increase the awareness about various heart diseases or CVDs such as coronary heart disease (heart attack), cerebrovascular disease (stroke), rheumatic heart disease, congenital heart disease, etc.

“World Heart Day” is celebrated throughout the world on 29th September every year. This year it is being celebrated with a theme of ‘My Heart, Your Heart.’

According to World Health Organisation (WHO), four out of five CVD deaths are due to heart attacks and strokes. Nearly 80% of these deaths are in underdeveloped and developing countries making it a burden on the society at large. Use of tobacco, eating unhealthy junk foods and physical inactivity increase the risk of heart attacks. Eating less salt (less than 5 g) and more of fruits and vegetables (5 servings in a day) and at least 30 minutes physical activity every day can help prevent heart attacks.

As increase in blood glucose in diabetic people increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes, it is advisable to keep the sugar levels under control. Recent global survey, ‘Taking Diabetes to Heart’ conducted by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) in partnership with Novo Nordisk has revealed that 2 out of 3 people with type 2 diabetes (currently worldwide 425 people are with diabetics) people have CVD risk factors (high blood pressure, uncontrolled blood glucose levels and high cholesterol) and/or have experienced a cardiovascular event (angina, heart attack, stroke or heart failure).

Increased levels of blood cholesterol, abnormal blood lipids and triglycerides increase the risk of heart attacks. Regular monitoring of these parameters and following doctor’s advice are essential to prevent heart attacks. Consumption of alcohol may also lead to heart ailments. Regular or high alcohol intake can lead to diseases of the heart muscle, known as cardiomyopathy and it can also raise the blood pressure.

Air pollution is also contributing to heart ailments. Nearly 19% of all CVD deaths are caused by outdoor and household air pollution. This news is really a worrying concern as 91% of the population of the world is living in areas where air pollution levels are exceeded the WHO guidelines.

A recent review published in ‘Nature Reviews Cardiology’ journal (15: 193-194, 2018) establishes a link to CVD mortality and the exposure to nitrogen dioxide and fine particulate matter in the air originating from coal burning, burning of household wood and agricultural waste, industrial facilities and vehicle emissions.

Hence, reducing exposure to air pollution especially by elderly, pregnant women and people suffering with diseases is essential to reduce this type of deaths. The UNs sustainable Development Goal 3.4 was aimed at reducing the premature mortality by one third from non-communicable diseases (NCD) through prevention and treatment and promotes mental health and well-being. As CVDs are also included in NCD, steps in this direction are needed by the individuals, families, policy makers and governments to reduce the disease burden on the families and the society.(Dr S V N VIJAYENDRA)


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