The WHF report, which was released on Saturday, found that four of every five cardiovascular deaths occurred in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). “The highest CVD death rates occur in the Central Europe, Eastern Europe and Central Asia region,” it said.
According to a senior doctor from a public hospital, four million heart attacks occur in India every year and cardiac diseases have been the leading cause of death between 1990 and 2016.
The World Heart Federation report’s co-author Dr Fausto Pinto said: “The data doesn’t lie. This report confirms the serious threat that cardiovascular disease poses all over the world, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. Up to 80% of premature heart attacks and strokes can be prevented. It’s vital that countries prioritise rolling out tools and policies to protect people from CVD.”
High blood pressure, air pollution, tobacco use and elevated LDL cholesterol were among the leading contributors to CVD deaths, found the study.
According to Dr Brian Pinto, who heads the cardiology department in Holy Family Hospital in Bandra, sleep deprivation and stress are two major issues with cardiac health.
“We have youngsters who go to the gym early in the morning but sleep around 2am every day. This is the reason for the spate of sudden cardiac death in many youngsters,” said Dr Pinto, adding that 50% of the heart attacks in Mumbai at the moment would be among people who are under 50 years of age.
It is most important to control hypertension and lipids; youngsters in their twenties should know these “numbers”.
“Controlling these numbers reduces the chance of death due to cardiovascular diseases by 90%,” said Dr Pinto.
In recent times, experts also highlight the role of air pollution in cardiac problems. Air pollutants are known to increase the risk of inflammation in the body that could, over the years, lead to cardiac issues.