Friday, 22 September 2006

Indians suffer from cardiac ailments 10 years earlier

By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, Sept 22: Indians suffer from cardiac ailments 10 years before people of other countries develop them. And if the World Health Organisation report is any indication, about 60 per cent of all heart patients in the world will be in India in the next six years.
A research study has now been taken up to find out the reasons for the high prevalence of heart diseases in Asian countries, particularly India. Scientists and researchers have thus far been baffled by the mystery behind heart attacks in people who are not bracketed under high risk groups and who do not have "social vices" like smoking and drinking.
Apollo Hospitals have tied up with John Hopkins to identify the causes responsible for cardiac risk among Indians. The study will find out whether a particular gene is behind heart attacks.
Apollo Hospitals chairman Dr Pratap C Reddy told reporters here on Friday said there was possibly a genetic predisposition to heart diseases among Indian, but the precise cause was still elusive.
"Risk factors that are often associated with heart diseases like hypertension, smoking, high total serum cholesterol and high fat diet do not seem to fully account for the high incidence of the disease in Indians. The disease process also differs in Indians as the coronary vessels are diffusely affected while in other ethnic groups the coronary arteries are more discretely affected. High incidence of diabetes and low levels of good cholesterol with high levels of triglycerides may partially address the high risk of heart diseases in Indians but there is something beyond," Dr Reddy pointed out.

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