The incidence of coronary heart disease (CHD) is less in patients consuming less than two or three units of alcohol daily as it increases HDL cholesterol which is cardio-protective. Red wine is the best because it contains antioxidants which prevent CHD, says heart expert Dr PC Saxena, professor and HoD of MLN Medical College Cardiology department.
Prof Saxena pleads for a massive public education programmed on coronary risk factors and lifestyle modifications for reducing the incidence of coronary diseases in developing countries like India.
Striking a warning against Indians going to have the highest incidence of CHD in the world and practically in an epidemic form, Prof Saxena says that modifiable risk factors constituted smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, physical activity and stress.
Smoking or tobacco chewing constituted a major risk factor for CHD. The number and duration of cigarette smoked is directly proportional to incidence of CHD. In smokers the chances of heart attack are two or three times more than non-smokers. Cigar
smoking is less harmful compared to cigarette smoking, he said.
Prof Saxena has expressed concern at children in rural India smoking at an early age and by the time they attained the age of 40 years they suffered heart attack, he pointed out.
Besides, obesity, he said, increased two-fold the risk of CHD. This necessitated maintenance of target weight by diet therapy alone or diet and exercise. Excessive depository fat in abdomen and increased waist-to-hip ratio are associated with increased incidence of CHD, he warned.
The non-vegetarians have a high incidence of CHD as compared to vegetarians. Diabetes is one of the most important risk factors of CHD. Presently in India 20 million people are diabetics and are likely to reach 52 million by 2025. Prevalence of CHD in diabetics is 20 to 25 per cent. In diabetics the incidence of silent heart attack is 30 to 40 per cent, he pointed out.
Walking, jogging, cycling for at least 30 minutes thrice a week 373 or for 30 minutes daily reduced CHD factors by 41 per cent, Prof Saxena added.