Even a broken heart can kill, say cardiac experts
PATNA: Do not ignore the tonsil pain in your child. And, if this pain shifts to joints, it’s time you visit a cardiologist. For, it might just be the preliminary stage of rheumatic heart disease.
Talking about cardiovascular diseases (CVD) on the occasion of world heart day on Saturday, director of the Indira Gandhi institute of cardiology (IGIC), Dr SN Mishra said poor hygiene and lack of sanitation led to the growth of streptococcal bacteria, affecting the tonsils. This was the primary cause of rheumatic heart disease, which takes place in children in the 5-15 years age group but may even extend up to 25 years of age.
If untreated, the tonsillitis pain shifts to the joints and then affects the heart by attacking the valves of the heart and weakening them. In Bihar, the incidence of the disease is 18%.
Dr Basant Singh said, rheumatic heart disease accounts for 40% heart diseases. Emphasising on women and child care, which is the theme of this year’s world heart day, he said that tobacco-smoking in women had increased and this was another cause of increased heart diseases. Besides, passive smoking was also harmful to a pregnant woman and the child in her womb. He said the risk of CVD was low in women before menopause because of certain hormones, but equal to men after it.
IGIC joint director Dr Harendra Kumar said, illiteracy and poverty were the bane of rheumatic heart disease. Deputy director Dr AK Jha emphasised on the ‘broken heart syndrome’ as a cause of heart attack. This, he said, was the pang of sudden separation of one’s companion. Besides regular exercise, he advocated keeping one’s blood pressure level (below 130/80 mmHg) in check, besides obesity and diabetes. Dr KK Barun also spoke on the occasion.
At a separate function organised by the medicine depart- ment of the Patna medical college hospital (PMCH) Dr Ashok Shankar Singh, said there were primarily three groups of heart diseases. While the first was coronary artery disease (CAD), which was because of shortage of oxygen to the heart or due to the process of ageing, the second was rheumatic heart disease in the young; and finally congenital heart disease.
He said, the triggering factor of CAD were hypertension, diabetes, obesity, smoking and sedentary habit. In pre-disease stage of rheumatic heart disease, taking penicillin at an interval of 15 days till the age of 35 years, could prevent it. Dr Singh advocated regular heart check-up of school going kids.
Earlier, PMCH principal Dr NP Yadav stressed on the need to quit smoking, fatty food, and increasing one’s physical activity.
Among others present on the occasion were Dr Vibhu Priyadarshi, Dr Virendra Prasad Singh, Dr Surendra Kumar and Dr Pankaj Hans.