As one famous 14th century poet said “Your heart and my heart, are very, very old
friends". The poem honors human and soul connection and we in India are aware of this
connection for long time.
On this day of Sept. 29 which marks World Heart Day, we bring for our readers an
exclusive and informative chat session with Dr. Amrish Agarwal, a senior
cardiologist from UAE. In the telephonic conversation with The India Rise
correspondent he says, “I join my colleagues in India around the world to raise
awareness of cardiovascular diseases. Even though, we are surrounded by pandemic
of corona, we need not forget that globally as well in India and Middle East, diseases
related to cardiovascular system such as heart disease and stroke, are the leading
cause of death, resulting in 1.7 to 2 crore lives each year”.
Detailing about heart diseases and root causes he shares, “There is strong relationship
between heart disease and dominance of hypertension, diabetes and cholesterol. Over
last 3 decades, there have been tremendous advances in field of cardiology but it is not
uncommon to see young people in their 30s and 40s having a heart attack and stroke.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has left no country unscathed; health systems face
challenges on multiple fronts. India unfortunately, has become the second largest
country in world with covid cases and it is growing rapidly. Nurses, doctors and
healthcare workers, our Members, are at the frontlines of an enormous struggle.
Unfortunately, COVID-19 has even greater impact on patients with circulatory diseases
and leading to thrombotic events such as pulmonary embolus and stroke. Patients with
pre-existing conditions like hypertension, diabetes, and kidney disease are at higher risk
of complications and death from this virus. Data from India and world is showing that
people living with heart diseases have sought and received too little medical attention
during the pandemic, leading to avoidable disability and death.
The cardiology community can take care of heart diseases by efficient medicines and
methods of angioplasty and stenting but the best way to go is prevention. Speaking
more on the preventive measures Dr. Agarwal has his say, “It is based upon the thought
that small changes — following a healthy diet, increasing physical activity and
abstaining from smoking, among others — can make a difference on heart health and
avoid premature deaths”. He emphasizes, “ Firstly, reduce salt intake. High salt intake
doubles risk for heart failure and causes hypertension. Second is to maintain body
weight which is very important in terms of maintaining a normal blood pressure and
preventing and controlling diabetes from early and into middle adulthood. A heart-
healthy lifestyle can improve brain health in adults and reduce the risk for cognitive
decline, including dementia, according to a presidential advisory from the AHA and
American Stroke Association. Third, The American heart recommends substituting
saturated fat with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats to lower cholesterol and
reduce the risk for CVD. Such beneficial oil is often found in oils of peanut, corn and
soybean. I would also like to emphasize that healthy plant foods were associated with
lower risk. Even modest improvements in diet quality could meaningfully influence
mortality risk, and conversely, worsening diet quality may increase the risk. Fourth, do
active exercise. Exercise and yoga play a crucial role in maintaining heart health and
keep you fit as well. Exercise ensures better circulation of blood and helps in the
smooth functioning of the heart. Exercise also kills the various risk factors which
increase the risk of heart diseases. Obesity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar
levels, stress and bad cholesterol levels are some the major risk factors which can be
controlled with exercise. Something as simple as a 30 minutes morning walk can help
you for long run. Yoga plays a very important role in today's cosmopolitan world filled
with stress and fatigue. The relaxation exercises in yoga help better blood circulation
and stress management.
About Dr. Amrish Agarwal :-
Born in Bareilly
Did his DM from Mumbai and MRCP from UK and Fellowship from Australia and
Elevated Fellow of Royal College of Physicians of Glasgow and Edinburg.
Currently he in senior consultant and Associate Professor in Ministry of health in
Fujairah Hospital, UAE
More than 20 years’ experience as consultant in Australia, India and UAE.
More than 20 publications in peer reviewed journals, author of chapters in many books
and International member of Editorial boards.
He is Invited Faculty and Speaker in numerous International meetings in France,
Austria, Greece, Turkey, Poland and Romania and USA and UK.,
Principal Investigator for many International Studies and Registries such as
GARFIELD, FLOW, GOAL, CEPHEUS etc