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Alert! Young hearts at peril in India

Press Trust Of India
Sep 10, 2006 at 01:06pm IST

New Delhi: Changing lifestyles and increasing stress levels are taking a toll on the generation next in India, where a staggering 80 lakh people below 40 suffer heart attacks every year.

This alarming data has raised concern among doctors and one of the country's top cardiologists, Upendera Kaul, who called for greater awareness among Indian youths about the impact of stress and lifestyle.

Just back from attending the World Cardiology Conference in Barcelona, Spain, Kaul, the Director and Head of Cardiology department of Fortis group of hospitals, pointed out that in sharp contrast to the West, as many as 40 per cent of those who get heart attacks in India are below the age of 40.

ALARM BELLS: About 80 lakh young people below 40 years suffer heart attacks in India every year.

In North America and other Western countries, the figure is only four per cent.

"Nowadays, more and more young people are prone to heart disease due to stress at work place, competition, urbanisation which results in less exercise and more smoking," he said.

Heart disease secondary to blockages of arteries is a problem frequently seen in India with at least seven to eight crore being afflicted by it, according to very conservative estimates. Of these, 25 per cent or nearly two crore people actually suffer an attack that can be catastrophic, he said.

Kaul has an urgent message to those who suffer heart attacks: early recognition and prompt treatment are extremely important to reduce mortality.

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