World Heart Day is observed and celebrated annually on September 29, with the aim of increasing awareness of cardiovascular diseases and how to control them to negate their global impact. Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are the most common cause of death globally. An estimated 17.9 million people died from CVDs in 2016, representing 31% of all global deaths. Of these deaths, 85% were due to heart attack and stroke.
In India, heart failure cases are on a constant rise. It’s a progressive and chronic condition, in which the heart muscle becomes stiff overtime and the heart is unable to pump blood properly, thereby limiting the amount of oxygen and nutrients circulated to the vital organs of the body.
Dr Manoj Luthra, CEO and Director Cardiac Surgery, Jaypee Hospital Noida said, “Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, more people around the world are working remotely. While the measure has been critical to helping control the spread of the virus, it hasn’t come without compromise. World Health Organization (WHO) found that long working hours have been increasing deaths from heart disease and stroke. According to estimates by WHO and the International Labour Organization, published in Environment International, working long hours led to as many as 7,45,000 deaths from stroke and ischemic heart disease in 2016, a 29 per cent increase since 2000.”
“In the pandemic, this has become a more pressing issue, as working from home has caused people to spend long hours in front of their computer screens. Nowadays, not only are working hours excessively long, but stress at work has escalated exponentially. Work timings are also often unhealthy, extending into odd hours as people work across time zones in a globally-linked world. All this leads to harmful stress responses in the body,” added Dr Manoj Luthra.
Majority of heart failure patients get diagnosed at the time of their first hospitalization. This clearly shows the lack of awareness and ignorance about the signs symptoms of heart failure. Sedentary lifestyle, rising stress levels, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, tobacco use, diabetes and pollution are taking more people in India under the grip of heart diseases. Stress testing, coronary calcification or CT testing, advanced lipid testing can help predict heart disease, along with CRP and other inflammatory marker testing. It is important for people to follow the age-old golden trio of 45 minutes daily exercise, a balanced diet, and positive mindset to keep their heart healthy.