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Future Woman

Campaign to prevent heart disease

👤FM Bureau 🕔10-November-2013
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We are very much delighted to say that the fourth edition of the Indian Association of Clinical Cardiologists Conference (IACCCON-2013) was highly successful. We are expecting participation of more than 1,000 cardiologists from the country in the coming years. We will be having parallel sessions in the next edition of IACCCON where the basics of cardiology like ECG, x-ray, echo, clinical cardiology etc. will be discussed,” said Dr Rajesh Rajan, President, Indian Association of Clinical Cardiologists, at the concluding session of the event held at NIMHANS Convention Centre, Bangalore, recently. 

IACCCON aims to train doctors in the government services in villages as identifying patients with serious Cardio Artery Diseases (CAD) and Cardio Vascular Disease (CVD) is crucial. “If a person diagnosed with Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS) is admitted to a hospital within the golden hour (first two hours), the doctors will be able to save the cardiac muscles as the contraction is connected with the muscles. The focus should be on the quality of care and outcome of patients with ACS by improving healthcare system readiness and response to ACS in every village of India. For this, we need a different approach which should give importance to patient education, trained doctors, healthcare staff and emergency medical services. At the same time, we need a timely referral to higher centre for further management. The first medical contact or doctor identifying the correct cardiac problem in a rural setting will help us reduce the cardio vascular mortality rate,” he says.

Indian Association of Clinical Cardiologists offers a new rural health development project to Central Government of India - Mission Early Detection & Effective Management of Heart Diseases in Rural INDIA - MEDIA. This is purely meant for the rural health development to reduce cardiovascular mortality rate and to promote preventive cardiology. If this project establishes the way IACC plans, then within no time each of the entire 600 districts in India will have minimum two clinical cardiologists to serve the poor, says Dr Rajesh.

IACCCON regularly conduct four zonal meetings, one state meeting in every state apart from the annual national meeting. “We are quite hopeful to include all the healthcare providers in our upcoming meets from the primary healthcare providers to the tertiary healthcare providers,” says Dr Rajesh.


Early diagnosis

India is not only the capital of diabetes but also fast becoming the capital of heart diseases. By 2020, we will be much ahead in this race. India has got around 35% CVD deaths in the working population of the age group 35-45 whereas in the US, it is around 12%. Due to sedentary work style and ‘call centre culture’, the risk has increased much.

The function of endothelium helps us to better understand the scenario. Main blood vessels of a human body consists of thick lining called endothelium. The whole body has got this lining endothelium. It has got more than 14,000 sq ft which is equal to more than six and half tennis court. The changes happen to this endothelium leads to many diseases like heart attacks, stroke etc. “Prevention is the key. In the case of awareness, what we need is targeted approach rather than mass approach,” says Dr Rajesh who is also the Chairman of Jupiter Hospitals, Kollam.

Talking about the detection of endothelial dysfunction, Dr Rajesh introduced a device called AngioDefender which gives the flow mediated dilatation (FMD) of the arteries. “We will compress the artery for some minutes and then release. Usually, a healthy artery should dilate 10% more than the normal size because of this compression. With such simple devices, we can have early diagnosis and detection of CAD or CVD,” explains Dr Rajesh.

Preventive measures

According to Dr Rajesh, lifestyle modification, healthy exercises, healthy diet (which has got more fruits and vegetables), avoiding junk foods, regular health checkup (at least once in a year) and quitting smoking are the preventive measures. “Again the awareness programmes should be with a targeted approach and not mass approach. Giving a 100 people an awareness class won’t help much. Targeted approach will only help the coming generations,” says Dr Rajesh.

Dr Rajesh also notes that one should not ignore any signs or symptoms related to cardiovascular diseases. “You should avoid self-treatment. In cardiology, everything is crucial and critical. If you feel chest heaviness or uneasiness, take an ECG and seek medical attention and don’t hesitate,” advises Dr Rajesh.


The future

 “We can’t open your blood vessels and see inside. We can’t do angiography to each and every patient to detect whether the person has got arthrosclerosis.

Techniques like flow mediated dilatation should come up and devices like AngioDefender should be used to measure FMD not only in tertiary care hospitals and corporate hospitals but it must come even in primary health centres so that each has a chance to detect CAD or CVD and save time,” says Dr Rajesh.

Indian Association of Clinical Cardiologists along with the World Heart Federation is calling on men, women and children of all age groups to increase their physical activities to protect their heart and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.


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