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India spends Rs 200 billion an year to care problem hearts'

Written by: Staff
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Kochi, May 7 (UNI) Indian hearts may be surviving on hi-tech help. But they are not so generous towards the economy.

Because, India sheds out about Rs 200 billion, that is 0.8 per cent of gross national product, an year to care its problem hearts' which grow day by day.

If the data with Cardilogical Society of India (CSI) is any indication, at least Rs 100 billion is spent directly to mend the problem hearts and an equal amount indirectly.

Thanks to the modern sedentry life style and typical Indian psyche that still views exercise as untouchable, coronary heart disease (CHD) prevalance was 3-4 times higher than white Americans, 6 times higher than Chinese and 20 times higher than Japanese, says CSI president Dr Ashok Kumar Kar, quoting the statistics from a global burden diseases study.

The estimated mortality from heart diseases was 1.6 million in 2000 with adult urban population comprising 7-10 per cent. Thus there could be 30 million patients with CHD and 14 million were in urban areas.

Going by the current projections, India will have the largest CHD burden in the world by 2020. Indians are prone at a much younger age too,'' Dr Ashok said while addressing the delegates at annual conference of CSI Kerala chapter here yesterday.

High blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, insulin resistance and diabetes were the main risk factors for Indians.

In urban populations, the prevalence numbers have increased from 05 million in 1960 to 4.5 million in 1970, 5.6 million in 1980, 9.7 million in 1990 and 14.1 million in 2000, according to the statistics. Among the rural folk, the numbers increased from 4.1 million in 1970 to 6.4 million in 1980 and 15.7 million in 2000.

The CHD rate is expected to rise in parellel with the increase in life expectancy secondary to increases in per capita income and declining infant mortality rate. The average life expectancy went up from 41 years in 1951 to 61 years in 1991. It is projected to cross 72 years by 2030,'' he said.

This was evident from the transition of Kerala. It is projected that 50 per cent of total deaths will be caused by cardiovascular reasons by 2020.

Kerala has the highest life expectancy, the lowest infant mortality rate and maternal mortality rate. This led to the highest prevalance of coronary artery disease with a rural prevalence of 7.5 per cent and urban prevalence of 12 per cent, unlike the pattern in North India,'' CSI Kerala chapter data says.

In a single medical college hospital in Kerala, there has been more than 20-fold increase in admissions for cardiac cases during the period of 1966 and 1988. The number of cases was 220 in 1967 and it went to 5284 in 1987, the studies said.

With a crude death rate of 6.2 per thousand, one can see that around 70000 deaths happen due to coronary artery disease in Kerala every year,'' the studies pointed out.

The experts in the field also noted that 80 per cent of heart attacks could be prevented by appropriate management and preventive strategies and the CSI was taking steps in this regard.

We have effeciently handled the management side by setting up hi-tech hospitals and latest machineries to treat the cases. Now the focuss should be shifted to prevention,'' Dr Ashok said.

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