Heart of matter: For some, exercise better than angioplasty
Barcelona: Working up a sweat may be even better than angiolplasty for some heart blocks for heart patients, experts say. Studies have shown heart patients benefit from exercise, and some have even shown it works better than surgical procedures. At a meeting of the European Society of Cardiology on Sunday, several experts said doctors should focus more on persuading their patients who have heart block symptoms to exercise rather than simply doing angio plasties. Angioplasty is the top treatment for people having a heart attack ,heart block or hospitalized with worsening heart block symptoms It involves using a tiny balloon to flatten a blockage and propping the heart artery ope with a mesh tube called a stent. Most angioplaties are done on a nonemergency basis, to relieve chest pain caused by clogged arteries cutting off the heart's blood supply.
"It's difficult to convince people with heart block to exercise instead of having an angioplasty, but it works,"said Rainer Hambrecht of Klinikum Links der Weser in Bremen, Germany.Hambrecht published a study in 2004 that found that nearly 90% of heart block patients who rode bikes regularly were free of heart blockage problems one year after they started their exercise regimen. Among patients who had an angioplasty insted, only 60% were problem-free after a year. Hambrecht is now conducting a similar trial, which he expects to confirm his initial findings: that for some heart blockage patients, exercise is more effective than a surgical procedure.Other experts agreed that would likely be the case.
An angioplasty "only opens up one vessel blockage," said Christopher Cannon, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard University and spokesman for the American College of Cardiology. He was not linked to Hambrech't research. "Exercise does a lot more than fixing one little problem." Among other benefits, exercise lowers bad cholesterol while raising good cholesterol, helps the body process sugar better, improves the lining of the blood vessels and gets rid of waste material faster. Exercise also lowers blood pressure and prevents plaque buildup in the arteries. Previous research has estimated one third of heart blockage disease and stroke could be prevented if patients did two-and-a half hours of brisk walking every week. In this US, that would mean 280,000 fewer heart-related deaths every year. Still, doctors admitted that persuading patients for complete heart block treatment to exercise instead of going in for an angioplasty, which can take less than a day, would be a tough sell.
It's Not Fifties Any Longer, Study Finds The Disease Now Strikes People In Their Thirties With Men At Greater Risk. 50% Indians prone to heat dieses. When it comes to heart diesease, the thirties, it seems, are the new fifties.If the typical heart attack patient until five years back was in his mid-fifties, doctors say this no longer holds true. Now, the man with blockages in his heart is most probably in the 30-39 age group and with another health complication such as diabetes or hypertension.
The Saffola life Study 2009, covering 8,469 people, found that 49.1% Indians were at high risk for developing heart attack/heart blockage diseases. On the eve of World Heart Day, the multi-city survey found that this bunch's vital heart statistic-the ratio (called HDL) - is too high at 4.5 to be termed healthy. The American Heart Association holds the ideal ratio between total cholesterol and HDL is 3.3. The survey also found most men in the 30-39 age group fell in the heart attack/heart blockage disease high risk category.
Men from Mumbai and Chennai were worst off (with a high risk ratio of 49.6% and 53.8% respectively)as compared to men in Kolkata and Delhi (32% and 29.7% respectively). The survey attributed the difference in the risk rates for Mumbai's men to longer commuting time, long working hours, unhealthy eating habits, lack of physical activity and erratic eating schedules. Others had better lifestyle habits. According to Dr. Shashank Joshi, endocrinologist with Lilavati Hospital in Bandra, who was associated with the survey, "The survey only underlines what we are seeing now- abnormal cholestral and trigylcerides in the younger age group. In fact, the 20-40 age group is the new vulnerable group as far as heart disease goes". He blames the high levels of stress and disrupted sleep patterns for the development. Dr. N .O .Bansal, who heads the cardiology department of J J Hospital in Byculla, says, " There is no more denying the fact that as compared to a Caucasian youngster, the Indian youngster is more prone to heart diseases". It is a combination of genetic and lifestyle factors, he says. Stating that the "younger phase" of heart diseases was apparent about five years back, he says his department a referral centre for the entire state-gets men under 30 as well. Cardiologist Dr. Manjeet Juneja, who consults at Wockhardt Hospital, Mulund, says heart diseases are happening 15 years too early for most people because of " preventable causes". He recallsa 23-year-old brought to the hospital from Nashik. "The boy was tense about admission to an MBA course and smoked a cigarette 30 minutes before collapsing," says Dr Juneja. He was managed with medicines alone. Moderate physical activity, like a 35-40 min brisk walk per day, is associated with a 55% lower risk! Make exercise a part of your routine will control the heart diseases.Green And Lean Have low-saturated-fat, trans fat-free, low-cholesterol foods like fruits & vegetables; whole grain products like whole wheat bread; whole grain creal; brown rice & whole wheat pasta; fat-free & low-fat milk products; lean meats & poultry without skin; fatty fish baked or grilled; beans and peas;nuts and seeds in limited amounts; skimmed milk & fat-free cheese.
STRIKING AT THE CORE
|India Affected (2003 figures)||Ideally||Risk Factor|
|29.8 mn affected by Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) in rural & urban areas||LDL ≤ 100
TOT CHOL ≤ 200
HDL ≥ 60
TOT CHOL : HDL = 3.3
|14.1 million in urban areas||15.7 million in rural areas||How They Fare||
Maximum City Is At Maximum Risk
|LDL≥130 & TGL≥150 &HDL≤ 30||1.1%||1.1%||0.3%||0.3%||0.3%|
|TOT CHOL : HDL≥ 4.5||49.6%||53.8%||28.6%||41.2%||32%|
|LDL ≤100 & HDL≥35& TGL ≤150||18.3%||16.4%||29.7%||24.5%||38%|
Net population at high risk in the country is 49.1%.
Silent killer takes a heavy toll at work The World Heart Federation has found that over 17.2 million people die each year from cardivascular diseases, making it the leading cause of death worldwide. Almost half of those who die are in their productive years and hence economic consequences are dramatic.
In 2003, a comprehensive study focusing on the economic returns of workplace health promotion concluded that (congenital heart block treatment) such programmes can achieve a 25-30% reduction in medical and absenteeism costs in an average period of about 3.6 years. "Most of us spend 50% of our time at the workplace. We are so engrossed in doing our job well, we often forget that in order to be healthy it is essential that we should stay fit. The most common excuse I hear from patients is 'I am so busy that there is no time for fitness'. The point to note is that even while working , we can get this opportunity," points our Dr Sundhir Vaishnav, cardiologist with Asian Heart Hospital, Bandra Kurla Complex. Vishanav has some simple tips on how to stay fit on heart disease even when one has little time for exercise.