Growing heart disease among youth worrisome

Cardiologists call for adopting a healthy lifestyle to reduce diseases


Our Correspondent September 30, 2020
Healthcare providers, public representatives and members of civil society take part in a walk held to mark World Heart Day in Rawalpindi on Tuesday. PHOTO: EXPRESS

RAWALPINDI/ ISLAMABAD:

Health and heart experts on Tuesday raised alarm over a greater number of younger people coming with complaints of heart-related diseases.

The concern was raised on Tuesday during an event to mark World Heart Day. The purpose of the event was to educate people around the globe about Cardiovascular Diseases (CVD), including heart disease and stroke, and to highlight the actions that individuals can take to prevent and control CVD, which accounts for around half of all non-communicable diseases deaths, making it the world’s number one killer claiming 17.9 million lives annually.

Shifa International Hospital (SIH) Chief of Cardiologist Dr Asad Ali Saleem said that prevention is better than cure and that most premature deaths from CVD can be avoided if the main risk factors such as the use of tobacco, diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol and physical inactivity, are controlled.

“If one has risk factors such as diabetes, smoking habit, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity with low or minimal physical activity and excessive salt intake, he or she is at high risk and must modify their lifestyle and dietary habits to avoid serious cardiovascular complications,” he added.

SIH Consultant Cardiologist Dr Saeedullah Shah said that coronary artery disease and valve diseases should not be confused as both conditions result from different complications. He said that it was alarming that now people from a younger age bracket are also complaining of heart-related complications.

SIH Consultant Interventional Cardiologist Dr Asaad Akbar Khan advised the adoption of a more active lifestyle to prevent cardiovascular and other diseases including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart failure, heart attack, obesity, diabetes, and even different types of cancer.

SIH Associate Consultant Cardiologist Dr Kashif Jan explained that Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD) - commonly referred to as a hole in the heart - is the most common heart problem which babies are born with. It happens during fetal heart development and is present at birth.

However, this condition can be improved through treatment, but a timely diagnosis is important so that treatment can be given as early as possible.

Awareness walk

An awareness walk was organised by the Pakistan National Heart Association (PANAH) to mark World Heart Day on Tuesday.

The walk was led by PANAH General Secretary Sanaullah Ghuman. It started from Liaquat Bagh and culminated at the Rawalpindi Press Club.

Speaking to participants of the walk, Ghuman stressed the need to adopt healthy behaviour to protect from heart-related diseases.

He said that a healthy lifestyle and regular exercise were essential to lead a healthy life.

Ghuman said that at least 80 per cent of premature deaths from heart disease could be avoided.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 30th, 2020.

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