Dr Jagmohan Varma of Fortis delivers talk on ‘healthy heart’ at Sood Bhawan

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  • 80% premature deaths due to heart disease and stroke can be prevented

  • 10% of all cardiovascular disease-related deaths due to tobacco use

NewZNew (Chandigarh) : Dr Jagmohan Varma, Director – Cardiology, Fortis Hospital Mohali, on Sunday delivered a talk on ‘How to prevent Heart Disease’ at Sood Bhawan, Sector 44, where over 150 citizens, who attended, also benefitted from the services offered at a free cardiac checkup camp organized by the hospital on the occasion.

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“Though Cardiovascular Disease (including heart disease and stroke) is the world’s No. 1 killer, as many as 80% premature deaths associated with it can be prevented by addressing risk factors,” Dr Varma shared this startling fact. He said these risk factors are tobacco use, smoking, unhealthy diet and lack of exercise. “Tobacco alone is estimated to cause 10% of all cardiovascular disease-related deaths. Those at risk are heavy smokers and young men. While it takes 2 years of quit-smoking time for cardiovascular disease risk to significantly reduce, it takes 15 years of non-smoking to reduce the risk factors to that of a non-smoker,” the cardiologist highlighted.

Reiterating the importance of physical exercise, Dr Varma said, “It’s the fourth leading cause of mortality.” Insufficient physical activity can be defined as less than five times of 30-minutes moderate activity per week, or less than three times of 20-minutes vigorous activity per week, or equivalent.

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Talking about the increasing malaise of obesity, the doctor said the attached co-morbidities of diabetes, hypertension and glucose intolerance make this one of the biggest risk factors in today’s day and age. “And the world seems to be losing its hold on this problem. We need to quickly and surely change our lifestyles, or we’re heading towards an even bigger epidemic of heart disease,” Dr Varma warned.

Do this today!

  • If avoiding sweet foods completely seems tough, swap chocolate and other sweets for treats such as mango or other fruit
  • Limit salt intake to less than 5 gms a day (about 1 teaspoon)
  • Consider potion sizes – use small plates, ensure large portion of vegetables and fruit than meat or carbohydrates
  • Set realistic goals for physical exercise – start with taking the stairs and a 30-minute walk.
  • Keep a check on vitals like BP, BMI and Cholesterol
  • Seek help if you find it tough to quit smoking or alcohol, or for that matter, even for food addiction.