Those with high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels should fast, as it could help them reduce blood sugar and cholesterol levels, the head of the Punjab Institute of Cardiology said on Sunday.
Professor Bilal Zakaria told APP that stable cardiac patients could also fast without damaging their health. However, he stressed that all patients must consult their doctors before doing so. He said that of the 1,000 patients who visited the Punjab Institute of Cardiology’s emergency ward every day, some 60 per cent had no heart problems. Most of them, he said, complained of chest pain. He said that to curb the unnecessary congestion at the Punjab Institute of Cardiology, patients should first contact their nearest hospital, and should they need to, then be referred to the Punjab Institute of Cardiology. Professor Zakaria said the offspring of parents who were each other’s first cousins were more likely to have congenital heart defects.
“Around 40,000 children are born in Pakistan each year with cardiac diseases,” he said. Professor Zakaria said that men had a higher incidence of coronary heart disease, but women were not far behind. He urged the government to focus on preventive cardiology instead of tertiary health care.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 29th, 2013.