Heart troubles prevail in all sections of society
A PGIMER study disproves popular perception that heart ailments are more common among urban and rich strata of society; prevalence is nearly equal in poor, rich and rural sections
CHANDIGARH: Popular perception is that heart ailments and various other diseases of cardiovascular system are urban rich man’s disease. However, a study conducted by the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, revealed that the prevalence of such diseases is nearly equal in poor, urban and rural sections of society of Chandigarh and Haryana.
So much so that the prevalence of major causes which led to ailments such as heart attack is also equal in all these segments.
The research paper “Risk Factors for Cardiovascular diseases: Is the Social Gradient reversing in Northern India?” was based on the study conducted by taking population samples from various pockets of Chandgiarh and Haryana. The paper was published in the
HYPERTENSION IS MORE PREVALENT AMONG URBAN POPULATION OF UT AS COMPARED TO RURAL AREAS
National Medical Journal of India in 2010.
The study revealed that the prevalence of hypertension among the urban population of Chandigarh and Haryana was 39% as compared to 33% in the rural areas and 35% in slums.
The study revealed that in selected communities of northern India, most of the cardiovascular disease risk factors “did not have a social gradient” except for tobacco use, another major cause of cardio-vascular diseases, which is more common in the lower social group.
One of the authors of the research paper Dr JS Thakur, additional professor, School of Public Health, PGIMER, said the study had also established that the prevalence of such causes was nearly the same in both literate and illiterate population. While prevalence of physical inactivity was found at 17% in literate population, it was 12 % in illiterates.
Similarly, the study found 90% and 88% prevalence of obesity in literates and illiterates groups, respectively. Figure for hypertension was 34% and 36%.
“This shows that the prevalence of high blood pressure is only 2% higher among educated lot,” Dr Thakur said.
The mortality rate due to cardio-vascular disorders in Chandigarh has doubled with 18 % in 1983 to 35% in 2002 and is still rising. Another study by the PGIMER has shown high level of physical inactivity among Chandigarh residents. About 45% men and 57% women in the city practice sedentary lifestyle habits.