The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Lifestyle is at the heart of the matter
- Corporate health audit seeks to educate executives on cardiac risks, fitness facts

Is the city executive ageing faster' Is the Calcutta corporate more susceptible to a cardiac arrest' These are some of the questions the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is trying to address through what has been dubbed the “corporate health audit”, an effort to educate city-based executives about health and lifestyle.

Sanjay Budhia, CII chairman (eastern region), says the organisation is planning to conduct “health audits of executives at all levels on a regular basis” to make them aware of the potential threat posed by a combination of high stress and low healthcare. The chamber recently organised a health session in collaboration with a leading hospital.

Shuvo Dutta, consultant interventional cardiologist of B.M. Birla Heart Research Centre, says the flow of cardiac patients from the corporate top-brass has, of late, “increased substantially”. In Calcutta, adds Dutta, the level of awareness is so low that nine stitches is the norm, instead of one in time. “A cardiologist is often consulted when the situation has almost or already gone out of hand,” complains Dutta. “If those who belong to the high-risk category (executives working under constant pressure), pay a little more attention to their health, the fatality rate can be reduced to a large extent,” he adds.

According to another leading cardiologist, the Calcutta executive lags far behind his counterpart in another metro when it comes to health awareness and fitness. “Even if some do exercise, they rarely do it in a proper manner or under the guidance of a specialist,” he says.

Budhia, meanwhile, says almost all committee members were present in the health-awareness session that also provided executives with an opportunity to measure their fitness levels. One of the participants later termed it an “eye-opener” for all. “We realised that with the stress levels we all suffer everyday, very few can escape life-threatening cardiac problems. Hence, a change in lifestyle is all-important,” he adds.

Dutta of BM Birla advocates a lifestyle management system to get to the heart of the matter. “In Calcutta, an executive undergoes a change in lifestyle only after being hit by a serious ailment. But if someone gets himself regularly checked from the start, the dreaded pain in the chest can well be avoided,” he concludes.

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