Heart disease on the rise among young Indian women: Survey

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: A new survey has revealed that changing lifestyle has put women at risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.

The survey called ‘Visualizing the Extent of heart Disease in Indian women’ (VEDNA), conducted by about 600 cardiologists and general practitioners across major metro cities observed that there is 20% growth in cardiovascular diseases among women in the last five years.

The survey revealed that about 41% of doctors claimed an alarming 10-15% growth in cardiovascular diseases among women in the age group of 20-40 years - the category which was earlier considered protected from heart ailments.

“Quite contrary to conventional medical ideology that due to oestrogen hormone, women, especially menstruating ones, are safe from heart diseases. Lately, there has been a significant rise in number of female cardiovascular patients,” said JPS Sawhney, senior cardiologist at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in Delhi.

“The trend may be attributed to changing lifestyle, which is bringing such drastic hormonal changes that the heart protecting effect of oestrogen is getting nullified,” Sawhney added.

According to the survey, change in lifestyle is one of the major risk factors for the cardiovascular diseases. While other risk factors like stress, smoking and drinking have increased considerably, co-morbid conditions like obesity, hypertension and diabetes have also gone up.

The survey revealed that 83% of the doctors believed that Indian women are ignorant about heart diseases. While 76% of doctors observed that women die of heart diseases as they do not seek medical aid in time, 66% death occur due to late diagnosis.

Showing the salient contrast between working and non-working women in terms of awareness and risk factors, 81% of doctors believed that working women are more conscious about their heart health, although majority of doctors noted that heart diseases are on the rise among working women.

“Considering the fact that working women juggle home and work responsibilities, they are more likely to get exposed to stress and unhealthy lifestyle and therefore, may be more prone to cardiovascular diseases as compared to non-working women,” said Chandrakant S Pandav, head of the department, Centre for Community Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

“Nevertheless, due to huge burden of household responsibilities and lack of self-care, non-working women cannot be considered to be at lesser risk,” he added.

With Agency inputs