Bhopal, Nov 2 (UNI) Increase in the number of heart patients in India's rural areas is a cause for concern, says an expert.
''The causes are changes in lifestyle and food habits. However, enhanced awareness has also led to more villagers consulting doctors,'' Cardiologist R K Singh said at a press conference organised today regarding preparations for inauguration of an ultramodern Cardiac Centre at the local Chirayu Hospital.
Quoting Indian Council of Medical Research surveys, the doctor said that in the sixties, 3-5 five per cent heart patients were from rural regions while in the nineties the figure rose to 7 per cent.
''Villagers prefer 'zarda', bidi, fried and spicy food. Instead of walking, they have begun to use motorbikes, jeeps or other vehicles,'' said Dr Singh whose has provided treatment at the Bhopal Memorial Hospital and Research Centre -- set up for the 1984 Gas Tragedy victims -- and several other prestigious Indian hospitals.
About 20 per cent of urban India is affected by cardiac ailments but despite that there is no change in lifestyle, the physician said while recommending regular light exercise and a roughly 5 km-long morning walk that would guard against high blood pressure and heart diseases.
''The Cardiac Centre will be inaugurated by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on November 4,'' said Chirayu Hospital Managing Director Ajay Goenka. The Centre would have an ultramodern van for emergency heartcare. Among those present were Cardiac Surgeon Vivek Kanhere and Ear-Nose-Throat specialist Satyaprakash Dubey.