Apollo Hospitals has announced a joint collaboration with Nobel Laureate Dr Ferid Murad, to do extensive research on the causes for the high prevalence of heart disease among Indians and suggest ways to detect early and render precise treatment. This was announced by Dr Sangita Reddy, Jt. Managing Director, Apollo Hospitals and Nobel Laureate Dr Ferid Murad, at a press conference on Monday at Apollo Hospitals. Also present on the occasion were Dr C. Venkata S. Ram, Director, Apollo Institute for Blood Pressure Management; Dr Manoj Agarwal, Sr. Cardiologist, Apollo Hospitals; Mr Y Subramaniam, CEO, Apollo Hospitals and Mr Atul Adania, Director Medical Sciences, Apollo Hospitals.
Due to the high prevalence of heart disease in India, there is an opportunity for this collaboration between Dr Ferid Murad and the Apollo Hospitals, to explore newer pathways for early detection and accurate treatment of heart ailments. This joint initiative will work towards finding newer methods to provide freedom from illness and suffering in the community.
In addition to world-class medical care, the Apollo group is also a recognized leader in scientific research, it has a robust and expanding research base in all aspects of medicine. In the cardiology. Apollo is already undertaking several research initiatives including:
- The importance of baseline Troponin level as a cardiovascular risk marker.
- Profiling the effects of blood pressure reduction on central aortic blood pressure levels.
- Measuring the 24 hr ambulatory blood pressure without using the traditional cuff – a novel approach first time in India.
Dr Ferid Murad said I wanted to do clinical research, I love to research. I would like to understand how cells communicate with each other, how they talk to each other, how one cell regulates the biochemistry and biology of another cell and that has taken me different fields like cancer, cardiology, neurology. I am always exploring to collaborate with institutes across the globe, this seems to be the most promising of all and I think we will find some interesting outcomes. If we can diagnose and detect problems early, it is going to be a lot more cost-effective than taking care of them a year later. My children are working on lipid disorders and predicting atherosclerosis in young, young children, the work is getting published. So I think it’s doable, there are ways to do it and we are going to collaborate and do it.
Dr Sangita Reddy said, his presence is inspirational. We will now draw a framework for this research, as part of this, the first thing is we have invited Dr Murad to join the Apollo Scientific Advisory and he has graciously accepted, which is a milestone for us. The immediate areas of focus will be to work for using his knowledge, our cardiologist’s knowledge, the data scientists and the very large database we have to launch research in the creation of a new biomarker, we have biomarkers before for various ailments. But his noble idea is to do a multi-factor biomarker which will enhance the ability for us to predict a cardiovascular risk patient, which will enable us to take measures to lower cholesterol, hypertension, monitor better and most likely avert heart disease. He says, in many countries, there is evidence of plateauing of cardiovascular disease and cancer is becoming the biggest killer. In India, while cancer is growing, cardiovascular continues to be the biggest killer. So we need to curb that by focusing more on preventive aspects, look for causative factors, diagnose early. He also suggested we should start looking for symptoms at a much younger age, which is valid. The fact is we need a multisectorial risk detection, which is the biomarker, which we are working on. We need to look at further areas because when you have a vascular problem it not only affects the heart but also neurological problems like stroke. If we do the research right we will target multiple problems. The supplements he has worked on can be used for improved heart health and also help improve metabolic health, we will work on how we can bring them to India. We will work together to help India to benefit from.
Dr Manoj Agarwal said, cardiovascular disease has almost become an epidemic in our country leading to plethora of diseases and incidence is only on the rise, the sad part of is, it is afflicting the young and causing a major economic burden for the family and country. It is incumbent upon us to diagnose early and delay the disease process. Apollo is doing multiple research programs on this. We are delighted to announce that Dr. Murad in his capacity as a clinical physician and a pharmacologist will help us identify newer research molecules to treat such patients and develop newer tests.
Dr C. Venkata S. Ram said the focus of our collaboration is how to reduce the cardiovascular burden of the country and look at newer techniques to detect heart disease early, identify people with high risk so that we can shift to prevention and reduce the tremendous disease burden.