‘Lifestyle changes can save many young patients from heart disease’
“Unfortunately, the trend is that heart problems are becoming common at a younger age. A major problem is that a heart-related issue limits a person’s capabilities to work. They have an entire life in front to them, which they may not be able to live fully. Also, some people may not survive as they get repeated issues,” said Dr Hiremath.
Pune: Against the backdrop of a rising number of young patients complaining of heart problems, effective lifestyle changes should be incorporated if a person already has a family history of heart issues, said Dr Shirish Hiremath, a city-based senior cardiologist and Director of Cath Lab at the Ruby Hall Clinic and former president of the Cardiological Society of India (CSI).
In an exclusive interview with Sakal Times, Dr Hiremath said lifestyle issues can be remedied. “However, a person with a family history should focus on modifiable factors. Lifestyle issues are modifiable. We have a stressful work culture and there is always pressure from society to do better, which leads to stress and lack of sleep. The speed of life can be toned down. Moreover, one must quit smoking and do regular exercise,” said Dr Hiremath.
Stress has unfortunately led to a new health trend among Indians, said the cardiologist.
“Unfortunately, the trend is that heart problems are becoming common at a younger age. A major problem is that a heart-related issue limits a person’s capabilities to work. They have an entire life in front to them, which they may not be able to live fully. Also, some people may not survive as they get repeated issues,” said Dr Hiremath. He said highly stressed atmosphere also leads to other problems as the person becomes obese and prefers smoking further adding to the issues.
“However, there are happy beginnings too. Many youngsters have started adopting a healthier lifestyle, where they exercise regularly,” he added. Dr Hiremath further said, “Many smokers are now finding less and less public spaces to smoke, which further discourages smoking. This may lead to a good reduction in the number of patients in the coming years but not very soon.”
He said many initiatives by the Cardiological Society of India are aimed at spreading awareness about heart issues, heart health and heart failure. It has become imperative to recognise early symptoms of heart failure to ensure timely treatment, which, in turn, can help reduce hospitalisation and prolong the lifespan of patients.
While talking about new trends in surgery, Dr Hiremath said the technique of using veins from legs is not used anymore in India for bypass surgery. “Around 95 per cent patients get artificial grafts. These grafts are very effective and can be used for as long as 30 years. They are proving very effective for Indian patients as they are comparatively younger in age. In India, we are also moving towards minimally invasive surgery. They have reduced the recovery period post-surgery from 10 days to three days,” said Dr Hiremath.