Preventing Cardiovascular Diseases

As per ICMR’s last study report on the subject, heart diseases contributed 28.1% of the total deaths in India compared to 15.2% in 1990.

The young and healthy individuals can also suffer heart attacks and strokes. All those people who are at high risk, which means those who have a family history of heart disease, have high blood pressure, or those who are diabetic and have lung problems, are advised to protect themselves.

There are several risk factors associated with Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), such as tobacco use, alcohol use, insufficient physical activity and unhealthy diet.

According to a population-based initiative for prevention, control and screening for diabetes, hypertension and common cancers has been rolled out in the country under NHM and also as a part of Comprehensive Primary Health Care.

Under the initiative, the centre government informed Parliament on Tuesday last, that persons more than 30 years of age are targeted for their screening for common NCDs. Screening of these common NCDs is an integral part of service delivery under Ayushman Bharat – Health and Wellness Centres,.

Preventive aspect of Cardiovascular Diseases is strengthened under Comprehensive Primary Health Care through Ayushman Bharat Health Wellness Centre scheme, by promotion of wellness activities and targeted communication at the community level, the government said. Other initiatives for increasing public awareness about Cardiovascular Diseases and for promotion of healthy lifestyle includes observation of World Heart Day and use of print, electronic and social media for continued community awareness.

Furthermore, it says healthy eating is also promoted through FSSAI. Cardiovascular Diseases patients are getting treatment at various health facilities in the health care delivery system including District Hospitals, Medical Colleges, Central Institutes like AIIMS,

Central Government hospitals, and private sector hospitals. The treatment in Government Hospitals is either free or highly subsidized for the poor and needy.  There is also focus on cardiovascular diseases in its various aspects in case of new AIIMS and many upgraded institutions under Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojna (PMSSY). Treatment of cardiovascular diseases are also available under Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY)

While government interventions are there, the experts stress on the need for habitual changes to reduce the risks of developing serious cardiovascular concerns. There is a need for taking a heart-healthy diet. Eating small and frequent meals is recommended as it helps prevent excess pressure on the heart.

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