World Heart Day | Rx: Stay active, have a healthy diet, avoid stress

Srinagar, Sep 29: As the world celebrated ‘World Heart Day’, doctors in Kashmir have asked people to stay active, have a healthy diet, and avoid stress to keep cardiovascular diseases at bay.

As per the official figures, last year the territory care hospitals witnessed 16 to 20 cardiac arrest cases every day in Kashmir and the number is increasing every year.

Noted cardiologist Dr Upendra Kaul told Greater Kashmir that it was very important for people to stay active by going for exercise and walks, have a healthy diet by taking less carbohydrates, and avoid stress.

“It is important to manage stress, blood pressure, and cholesterol. People who have left ventricular heart failure need to take proper precautions and should go for proper facilities like SMHS and SKIMS for the treatment,” he said.

Dr Kaul said that early walking and consuming fruits like apples, pears, and vegetables are good for heart health.

“Making a habit of consuming a heart-healthy diet from early life is the key to preventing or minimising chances of getting a heart attack and its complications,” he said.

The study carried out by the Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (IMHANS) Srinagar and Superspeciality Hospital, Shireen Bagh, revealed that stress and smoking were two of the primary contributors to cardiac events among people in Kashmir.

As per the research, about 57 percent of patients reported a history of psychiatric illness before the occurrence of cardiac events with the most common diagnosis being depression (74 percent) followed by anxiety (20 percent).

Besides, 73 percent of cases had a history of smoking out of which 38 percent had smoking as the only risk factor for cardiac events while only 52 percent had a history of smoking in the past.

Talking to Greater Kashmir, renowned cardiologist Dr Khurshid Iqbal said that cardiovascular diseases were commonly found in males and females of any age group.

“Cardiovascular diseases like coronary artery disease need early prevention. There are different reasons like stress, negligence, sedentary lifestyle, smoking, cholesterol, and uncontrolled blood pressure which disturb the heart health,” he said.

Dr Iqbal said that there was a notion among the people that any disturbance or heart disease leads to death, which was not correct.

“There is a treatment, medication, and early prevention, which prove successful in managing heart health. There are great advancements in the cardiology section. Medicines have been updated and proven effective,” he said.

Besides these, it has been found that high salt consumption has become a major health concern in J&K with many people consuming more than the recommended daily intake.

According to experts, the high salt intake could lead to health complications like heart failure, high blood pressure, stroke, kidney disease, and even gastric carcinoma.

Renowned health expert Dr Showkat Shah told Greater Kashmir that some lifestyle changes could improve heart health to a large extent.

“We receive most heart attack patients who are young and are smokers. Heart attack patients usually are in denial mode. They usually attribute heart pain to stomach pain or gas problems, which delays the treatment,” he said.

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