Coronary heart disease is rapidly growing among Indo-Guyanese, a medical team from the Long Island Jewish Hospital in New York said on Friday during a discussion about heart disease among people of Indian descent.
The team made presentations at Cara Lodge in Quamina Street, where the gathering included Health Minister Dr. Leslie Ramsammy, Youth, Culture and Sport Minister Frank Anthony and other prominent local doctors.
Heart Specialist Dr. Rajiv Jauhar, a member of the team, said that most operations and treatments administered on Indian patients are in compliance with data taken from Caucasian patients. He said it was an erroneous practice, since the biological make-up of persons of Indian descent differs, especially in diameters of valves in the heart.
Jauhar further indicated that there has been an increase in the number of younger patients in heart clinics because of a
breakdown in diet and lifestyle. “The younger generation is being affected by this too…just recently a 19 year old man came to the hospital and he had heart disease,” he said, pressing for lifestyle modification.
He suggested that people of Indian descent be treated using data taken from Indian patients. He also advised people to have early lipid screening.
Jauhar stated 10 years ago 53 % of patients died within a year of being diagnosed with heart disease and there has since been a visible increase in mortality.
Last year, the World Health Organization (WHO) had reported that a third of all deaths are heart disease-related. Heart disease starts when cholesterol, fatty material and calcium build up and clog the arteries.
This causes a narrowing of the arteries and thus a reduction of oxygen to the heart. The oxygen reduction to the heart causes chest pains. Some of the common risk factors for heart disease include smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and a family history of heart disease, peripheral artery disease and obesity.
Symptoms of heart disease usually occur during exercise or activity, when the heart experiences a demand for nutrients and oxygen that cannot be met because the coronary arteries are blocked.
Some symptoms are chest pain, shortness of breath, jaw pain, back pain, especially on the left side and pains on the left shoulder.