NK Das at his Sakchi clinic on Thursday. (Bhola Prasad)
For a city that continues to live under the shadow of diseases, here’s another bitter pill.
Cardiac diseases are on the rise among youths, particularly those in the age group of 20 to 30 years, in Jamshedpur. Leading cardiologist and former chief (medical services), Tata Main Hospital, N.K. Das, who has been treating heart diseases in the steel city for the past 30 years, has sounded out the health alarm.
According to Das, nearly five per cent of cardiac patients fall in this age group. The figure has jumped from around 1-2 per cent to 5 per cent in the past five years, thanks to unhealthy lifestyle and most importantly, work-related stress.
“In 2007-08, the percentage of youths suffering from cardiac diseases in the age group of 20-30 was about two per cent. Now, it is five per cent. Around 30 per cent of patients attending OPDs in hospitals over the past decade were found to suffer from hypertension and 25 per cent from heart diseases. It’s a disturbing trend, a cause of concern not only for the medical fraternity but also the society as a whole,” Das told The Telegraph.
Das, who listed out the main causes of heart attack (myocardial infarctions) as smoking, hypertension, diabetes, family history, increased cholesterol, consumption of fatty foods and sedentary lifestyle, said what’s more worrying was that people belonging to this age group were well aware of steps they need to take to stay fit.
“In the past decade, efforts to prevent heart diseases by individuals have increased tremendously, especially by youths. People have started taking remedial measures to prevent cardiac ailments. They have stopped smoking, are under medication for hypertension and diabetes. Yet, there is no sign of the number of cases coming down,” said Das, who has established a clinic, Heartcare, at Sakchi.
After consultations with other cardiac physicians and discussions at pan-India level, Das has reached the conclusion that youths are unable to handle work-related stress, which is fast turning out to be one of the major causes of heart diseases along with intake of junk and fatty, fried food.
“The 20-30 age group is working to omit other identifiable causes of cardiac ailments but are not able to handle stress arising out of their profession. It is important for the organisations to play a curative role and come up with relaxation programmes for its employees — be it through yoga or counselling,” said Das.
A sedentary lifestyle is also to be blamed.
“Though a number of people flock to parks for morning walk and jogging, a large percentage still leads a sedentary life, especially the affluent section. Around 90 per cent of affluent people don’t use treadmills even after buying them. In fact, treadmills turn into clothes line during the rainy season. It is middle class people who are more conscious and head out for morning walks while the higher middle class hits the gym,” added Das.
The cardiac specialist, who was also associated with Brahmananda Narayana Hrudayalaya as director (medical services), also said in the past decade, around 30 per cent of patients attending OPDs in hospitals were found to suffer from hypertension and 25 per cent from heart diseases.
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