You need to fume over toxic fumes, say cardiologists | Pakistan Today

You need to fume over toxic fumes, say cardiologists

Particulate matter air pollution is fast emerging as a major factor contributing to heart diseases in the country, senior cardiologist Prof Asadullah Kundi said on Monday. “People inhaling toxic fumes are at grave risk to develop coronary complications,” he said during his presentation on the prevention of coronary artery disease at a seminar organised by National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD) to commemorate World Heart Day. The cardiologist identified fumes discharged by power generators, vehicles and garbage burning as some of the commonest sources of particulate matter disbursement in the atmosphere.
“This leads to environmental degradation and exposes people to ailments including heart disease.” The speaker also discussed the relevance of lifestyle modifications for prevention as well as management of heart diseases. Dr Ghazala Naeem in her presentation focused on the relevance of diet in the management of cardiovascular diseases. “Patients are advised to adopt a balanced combination of food with fats comprising poly unsaturated that are easily available through sunflower oil and other cost-effective sources,” she said. “People must realise the hazards associated with hidden fats that are found in confectionery items.” The cardiologist termed saturated fats used by roadside food stalls and many restaurants as a danger to public health.
“As for carbohydrates,” she said, “these with rich fibre content are highly recommendable and so is the case with potassium and other nutrients that are found in abundance in vegetables and fruits.” She also discussed hazards of smoking, both active and passive for the smokers and those exposed to the smoke. “The fume is extremely harmful for people,” she added.
In her elaborate presentation, she highlighted importance of exercise in the management of heart diseases.
Dr Faisal Qadri and Dr Zahid Jamal made their presentations on the available medical gadgets and intervention to treat and monitor cardiovascular diseases.
Prof Khan Shah Zaman, executive director of the NICVD and secretary of the Pakistan Cardiac Society, said that the World Heart Day is celebrated every year with the aim to generate public awareness about the increasing incidence of coronary artery disease in particular and other cardiac ailments in general.
“Pakistan is among the worst affected nations with its younger population found inflicted with heart diseases particularly the coronary artery disease,” he pointed out.
Prof Zaman said patients are presenting mainly in the fourth and fifth decade of life and have to live with a damaged heart for the rest of their lives.
“Even their life span is reduced as compared to some one without this problem,” he added.
Moreover, the cost of treatment, be it coronary angioplasty or coronary artery, bypass surgery is beyond the reach of common man. There is scarcity of facilities in the public sector across the country, and poor patients are left at the mercy of the private sector.”
Prof Zaman said that around 100 new patients with coronary artery disease are admitted to the NICVD daily and between 1,500 and 2000 are examined daily. The institute provides state of-the-art facilities round-the-clock, seven days a week.
“Despite being the only fully equipped public sector facility, it
[NICVD] is still unable to cope with enormous disease burden of entire Sindh, Balochistan and southern Punjab,” he said.
He said it is extremely important that awareness about heart diseases is raised through the print as well as the electronic media.
“Journalists must help government to deal with this menace of 21st century.”
Prof Zaman referred to the World Health Organisation (WHO) report, according to which every third adult by the year 2020 is likely to get one of the three non-communicable diseases – coronary artery disease, hypertension and diabetic mellitus.

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