HEART OF THE MAT­TER

A guide to liv­ing the ten com­mand­ments of the 21st cen­tury on World Heart Day 2018

India Today - - INSIDE - By Da­mayanti Datta

On World Heart Day 2018, the 10 com­mand­ments for your phys­i­cal and men­tal well-be­ing

TThen God spoke. Through thun­der and light­ning, trum­pet and smoke, he gave two tablets of stone, in­scribed by his own fin­ger: the Ten Com­mand­ments.

In an age when thun­der and light­ning in our cells and tis­sues over­whelm us, doc­tors are the new gods. And right now they are dish­ing out the new ten com­mand­ments for op­ti­mis­ing your health. The old­est um­brella or­gan­i­sa­tion of car­di­ol­o­gists in In­dia, the Car­di­o­log­i­cal So­ci­ety of In­dia (CSI), is ask­ing us to em­brace 10 every­day tips to live bet­ter. With ‘My heart, Your heart’ as the theme for this year’s World Heart Day on Septem­ber 29, car­di­ol­o­gists have put to­gether a slim doc­u­ment, ‘Ten Com­mand­ments for Creat­ing Heart-Healthy Homes’ (see graphic), in 11 lan­guages, and sent it out to schools and movie halls. “It is our gift to the na­tion, not just to keep the heart-health con­ver­sa­tion on but also to take it a step fur­ther—a call for ac­tion,” says Dr Soumi­tra Ku­mar, gen­eral sec­re­tary of CSI. “Keep the ten com­mand­ments in mind, fol­low it your­self and teach your chil­dren,” he says.

Ac­cord­ing to the World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion, of the 54.7 mil­lion deaths across the world per year, 36 mil­lion are due to non­com­mu­ni­ca­ble dis­eases or NCDs like heart at­tacks, stroke, can­cers, chronic res­pi­ra­tory dis­eases, hy­per­ten­sion and di­a­betes. A large pro­por­tion of these are due to the risks re­lated to ur­ban built en­vi­ron­ment: from phys­i­cal in­ac­tiv­ity and obe­sity, car­dio­vas­cu­lar and pul­monary dis­eases from trans­port-gen­er­ated air pol­lu­tion, is­chaemic heart disease and can­cers from house­hold biomass en­ergy use (coal, dung, wood, low-cost fuel), asthma from in­door air pol­lu­tion and smok­ing, heat-re­lated strokes and ill­nesses. Out­door air pol­lu­tion alone is re­spon­si­ble for 3.7 mil­lion deaths an­nu­ally, mainly due to NCDs, while phys­i­cal in­ac­tiv­ity

is re­spon­si­ble for 3.2 mil­lion deaths.

Ur­ban­i­sa­tion is one of the lead­ing global trends of the 21st cen­tury. While cities can bring in op­por­tu­ni­ties, they also have a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on health. By 2050, over 68 per cent of the world’s pop­u­la­tion will live in cities. Ac­cord­ing to cen­sus re­ports, In­dia is shift­ing to­ward city life—from 11 per cent in 1901 to 25.7 per cent in 1991 and 32 per cent now; it is slated to rise to 41 per cent by 2050. And NCDs have turned into the top 10 killers in the coun­try. A just-re­leased study by the re­searchers of the In­dia State-Level Disease Bur­den Ini­tia­tive (pub­lished in Lancet, Septem­ber 2018), shows that the lead­ing risk fac­tors are: di­etary (56·4 per cent), high sys­tolic blood pres­sure (54·6 per cent), air pol­lu­tion (31·1 per cent), high to­tal choles­terol (29·4 per cent), to­bacco use (18·9 per cent), high fast­ing plasma glu­cose (16·7 per cent) and high body-mass in­dex (14·7 per cent).

So how bad is ur­ban liv­ing and how can you pro­tect your­self? Cut out the 10 every­day tips from CSI and hang it on your wall, to be­gin with. And read on to see what ex­perts sug­gest about man­ag­ing the health haz­ards of ur­ban liv­ing.

Do you vape? Your heart at­tack risk dou­bles if you do it daily. If you are also hav­ing cig­a­rette sticks, then it’s five-fold (Amer­i­can Jour­nal of Pre­ven­tiveMedicine, Aug 2018)

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