INFLUENZA & PNEUMOCOCCAL VACCINES IMPORTANT FOR HEART PATIENTS DURING WINTERS : CARDIOLOGY EXPERTS

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• Regular exercise, balanced diet key to good heart health

• Binge eating/drinking can aggravate heart problems

New Delhi, 08th January 2021: People with cardiovascular problems need to be extra cautious when temperatures start to fall, as risk of a heart attack begins to climb during cold weather, said cardiology experts sharing their experiences during 16th edition of ASSOCHAM webinar series on Illness to Wellness.

Supported by the hygiene brand SAVLON, the program which promotes healthy living with a quality life focusing on wellness and preventive health through healthy lifestyle habits, balanced diet, regular exercises, and holistic health saw the speakers engage on the preventive measures for healthy Heart especially in winter season.

It was also discussed that influenza vaccine for all individuals above 65 years and in addition to that Pneumococcal vaccine is key to stay fit for everyone with heart diseases.

“The supply of oxygen-rich blood to heart muscles gets reduced during winter season forcing the heart to work harder, as such any demand-supply mismatch in terms of blood flow to heart muscles due to cold temperatures can put health at risk for those having heart conditions,” said experts during the panel discussion at an ASSOCHAM webinar on ‘Heart Care during winters in Covid-19 era,’ held yesterday .

Staying extra cautious and taking certain precautions like limiting the in-take of high-calorie food, indulging in sports activities and others can help minimise risk of heart attack or a cardiac arrest, said experts sharing their views during the webinar.

Eminent cardiologist, Padma Bhushan Dr K.K. Talwar, chairman PSRI Heart Institute in his address said that elderly people are at a higher risk during winter season as cold weather can affect heart, especially those having cardiovascular disease. “Being outdoors in cold weather for long time should be avoided, cardiac patients should move out only when sun is shining and cover themselves up properly.”

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Dr Talwar also said that a regular exercise routine can be a blessing not just for heart patients but for normal people as well and that it is always better to play any sport rather than merely walk.

Talking about the food habits, he stated that oily foods need to be avoided and those who consume liquor should take small amounts to just relax themselves, besides sweets, milk products and bakery items should be completely avoided by those suffering from heart diseases.

On a cautionary note he said that it is extremely important to keep blood pressure under control in all circumstances and for diabetics and kidney disease patients it should be less than 130/80.

Sharing his views, Padma Shri Dr Balbir Singh, chairman, Cardiac Sciences, Max Healthcare said that heart disease is preventable by following certain healthy practices. First, it is important to give up high-saturated diet because if we eat and drink in moderation then it won’t become a health risk. He also said that in today’s fast paced-lives, stress has become quite common among people thus it is important to manage it by indulging in recreational activities like yoga and others.

He added that there is a popular myth that alcohol consumption can prevent heart attack, it is nothing but overblown. He said, in India people indulge in binge drinking and eat high-calorie food which is very harmful for heart health.

Dr Singh further said that usage of facemasks should be continued even after the covid-19 has subsided as it would help prevent spread of infections like pneumonia and viral diseases. Even in hospitals, he said infections have significantly decreased due to measures like wearing masks and hand sanitization.

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ASSOCHAM National Council on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), chairman, Mr Anil Rajput said that the year 2020 saw medical fraternity rising to the challenge thereby showcasing their unwavering spirit despite complex nature of Covid-19 pandemic.

He added, that fighting the Covid-19 virus becomes more challenging for those with underlying heart conditions, more so during the winter season when heart must work extra hard to maintain a healthy body temperature.

Mr Rajput also lauded the doctors, scientists, frontline workers for fearlessly dedicating themselves to the fight against this deadly virus.

The session was moderated by Dr Rajesh Kesari, founder and director, Total Care Control who also shared his experiences and highlighted that heart disease and high blood pressure can put one at greater risk, thus following a healthy regime can help protect one’s heart during the COVID-19 pandemic.