Air Pollution as Risky as Smoking: Cardiology Expert


Kochi: Heart disease has been increasing at alarming levels in India and urbanisation has played a major role in causing this dangerous trend.This was pointed out by Dr. Dorairaj Prabhakaran, Executive Director, Centre of Chronic Disease Control, Delhi  and VP, Public Health Foundation of India  at the Annual Conference of Cardiological Society of India (CSI) held here.

He was delivering the prestigious Uma Banerjee Oration.

He said all over India, air pollution is higher than the standards prescribed by WHO. High level of air pollution increases the risk of heart diseases and is equivalent to smoking. Serious efforts have to be taken to reduce air pollution across the country to reduce heart and lung diseases among the general population, he said. Geo Health Hub is an initiative by the Public Health Foundation of India to reduce pollution across the country, he added.

Dr. Dorairaj also stressed the importance of yoga in bringing back heart patients to normal lives. There is an ongoing study looking at the benefits of yoga in bringing patients back to their normal lives after a bypass surgery or treatment for heart attack, he said.

He said treatment for high levels of BP, sugar and cholesterol is far from satisfactory all over India. Not everyone can have access to a cardiologist. Treatment of high BP, diabetes and cholesterol can be done by general physicians at the primary level, he said.

Dr. Dorairaj added that the government is launching a programme to train primary doctors at district level to treat these risk factors of heart diseases.

The four-day annual conference of the Cardiological Society of India concluded here the other day.