Indians have highest heart disease rate.

PUNE: Indians around the world have the highest rate of heart diseases and women are no exception, said interventional cardiologist Rahul Patil. He was speaking at the cardiovascular public health awareness programme organised at Ruby Hall Clinic in Pune recently. The programme included a free medical check up and presentations on a range of topics including 'lifestyle management after angioplasty', 'diet for heart patients', and 'role of yoga and exercises for lifestyle modulation'. Patil while, addressing the seminar said, "Heart attacks are mainly caused by a blockage that prevents blood from flowing to the heart. Earlier it was treated only by conducting an open heart bypass surgery. Today, several treatment options, such as angioplasty where medical devices like stents (metallic tubular structure crimped on a balloon which gives support to the walls of the vessel), balloon angioplasty where a small balloon like device is threaded through the artery to open the blockage, are available." "In order to prevent the cardiac disease we need to change our lifestyle as well. This includes healthy diet, regular physical activity and avoiding tobacco and smoking," said Patil who is coordinating the disease management programme along with the heart insure team. The main aim of the heart insure programme (HIP) is to reduce the high incidence of coronary artery disease among Indians, and to save lives through a comprehensive programme. Shaina Fernandes, head of heart insure team, said HIP is responsible for doing a three year compliance monitoring of the patient and checking whether they are taking their medicines on time, maintaining a proper diet and going for regular follow ups with their doctors. This is done by making follow up calls to the patients on a regular basis. The patients are also given a disease management kit before discharge. This kit is available in local Indian languages and contains information on heart disease, good eating habits, importance of physical exercise and suggestions.