Although cardiovascular or heart ailments have increased in India manifold, a large number of patients are not reporting to hospitals due to fear of contracting the Covid-19, says India’s leading cardiologist.
Coinciding the World Heart Day on Wednesday, Dr Rajesh Vijayvergiya, a cardiologist at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research — a premier medical institute in Northern India — told Anadolu Agency that heart-related diseases are now prevalent even in the younger population of lesser than 40 years of age due to the lifestyle changes.
“The reporting of cardiac-related disease has come down because of Covid-19…the number of patients who were coming to the hospital in the outpatient department before the pandemic and now has a huge difference,” he said.
Besides the fear of contracting Covid-19 infection, the doctor said other reasons for not coming to the hospital for the treatment could be financial, lack of public transportation, and restricted health services.
Vijayvergiya recommended patients visit the doctors as the number of Covid-19 cases is dropping.
“As the strict norms of physical movement and lockdown are over by now, those who are suffering from heart disease are advised to consult their physician for appropriate management of their heart disease including modification of various drugs, further evaluation about disease progression and risk stratification for possible acute cardiac events,” he said.
He added that because of limited physical activity due to pandemics, the risk of more diseases has increased.
“Those who had limited physical activity and increase in body weight due to lockdown are likely to have worsening of diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease,” he said.
According to WHO, over 75% of cardiovascular disease-related deaths take place in low- and middle-income countries. In 2016, 27% of the deaths were attributed to cardiovascular diseases.
Vijayvergiya highlighted the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle during the pandemic.
“Physical fitness and regular exercise are an important aspect of the physical and mental well-being of an individual,” he said, adding that it would help in preventing ailments that trigger cardio-related diseases.
India of late is witnessing a tough challenge, as the younger generations are getting heart attacks.
Dr Vijayvergiya attributed it to lifestyle changes.
“There are several factors behind the increase. Diabetes, hypertension, obesity, physical inactivity, or hyperactivity usually cause heart diseases,” he said, adding that a lot of heart-related issues are also due to urbanisation and industrialisation.