Mumbai: India is in the middle of an epidemiological and demographic transition and deaths due to chronic ailments including cardiovascular diseases and diabetes are rising alarmingly contributing to 53% of total deaths.The number of people with coronary heart disease in 2010 will reach 46.9 million according to the report of the National Commission on Macroeconomics and Health, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India.
“In dealing with these epidemics we have to ensure we have the wherewithal to treat and manage them but it would be infinitely better if we could preempt them,” said Dr. Aashish Contractor, HOD, Preventive Cardiology, Asian Heart Institute, Mumbai. The noted preventive cardiologist was speaking at an all-India health writers’ workshop on Role of Food Industry in Heart Health. Dr Mensah also emphasized the power of prevention and the crucial role improved nutrition, increased physical activity, and tobacco avoidance played in this within a context of comprehensive lifestyle changes. Dr. Mensah added that PepsiCo`s commitment is to also transform its portfolio of products to make healthy choices easy choices.
“As we set about meeting the challenge, it is important to realize that nothing will help our cause as much as a shifting of emphasis would. We cannot afford to repeat the mistakes we made in dealing with infectious diseases. With disciplines like preventive cardiology we are looking at prolonging lives and more importantly at improving the quality of life index through lifestyle and risk factor management,” added Dr. Contractor. <
Heart disease, together with other chronic diseases like cancer and diabetes, accounts for 53% of all deaths and 44% of Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) according to a paper published in the medical journal The Lancet. Given the severity of the problem, it is increasingly felt that it was time to devise some innovative, proactive solutions to prevent the problem from escalating. Bureau Report
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