Do Indians have a genetic propensity for heart disease? #Wor
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World Heart Day takes place on 29th September every year and is the World Heart Federation‘s and the world’s biggest platform for raising awareness about cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke.

The main call to action for this year’s campaign is to make a promise. A promise as an individual to get more active, say no to smoking or eat more healthily … as a healthcare professional to save more lives … or as a policymaker to implement a noncommunicable disease (NCD) action plan. A simple promise… for MY HEART, for YOU HEART, for ALL OUR HEARTS.

The following article has been recently published in THE HINDU, the author, Dr. Ramakanta Panda, is a cardiovascular thoracic surgeon and Vice-Chairman of Asian Heart Institute, Mumbai. Here are some key excerpts from the article.

World Heart Day is as good a time as any to take stock of the situation.

India is reeling under the burden of cardiovascular diseases. And the numbers speak for themselves. Indians constitute a fifth of global deaths from heart disease and we are 3-20 times at higher risk of developing heart disease compared to others. While 23% of deaths before the age of 70 occur due to heart disease and stroke in a Western population, it is a staggering 52% among Indians. Indians develop heart disease earlier by 5-10 years compared to other ethnic populations.

Is this skew of coronary artery heart disease-related death rate towards Indians indicative that we could be genetically pre-disposed to heart disease?

Even though instances of direct evidence are few, there are indirect ones suggesting significant genetic influence of genes in causing heart disease. For example, identical twins show genetic effect in developing heart disease and heredity plays a role, with 40-60% risk of heart disease in children if either or both parents have heart disease.

Though many genes have been investigated, very few have been confirmed to cause heart disease. There are infrequent examples of single genes playing a role in causing heart disease. Genetics could also be playing a role in increasing risk of developing heart disease when some ‘risk associated genes’ are present with other environmental factors.

More recently, a September 2018 IIT Madras study, in the Journal of Biological Chemistry outlines an analysis of genomic DNA samples from over 750 individuals from the Indian population — it outlines that 35 to 40 per cent Indians carry a set of genetic variations that puts them at higher risk of heart disease.

Interestingly, while the incidence of heart disease in India has increased significantly, there is a decline in heart disease among Indians internationally, indicating that it is not all genetics.

Control of environmental factors like leading an active physical life-style, a balanced diet of vegetables, fruit, complex carbohydrate, avoiding tobacco, and treatment of risk factors like diabetes and high blood pressure can significantly reduce the risk of developing heart disease, among Indians.

More on World Heart Day here:

The Hindu article can be read in detail here:
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Dr. S●●●r A●●●d Internal Medicine
Hallo everyone i need your help please i am a specialized cardiologist from Germany. I am looking for some paid training in the interventional cardiology in India. would you please inform me how to find such a thing. i will be very thankful. nice regards Dr. Samer
Mar 8, 2019Like