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

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - Live - - IN & AROUND - Amanin­der Pal Sharma amanin­der.sharma@hin­dus­tan­times.com

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


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.

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