Fortis Malar Hospital, India’s largest heart transplant centre, in association with Cardiac Wellness Institute today observed World Heart Day with a host of activities engaging the public of Chennai. An awareness ‘Walkathon’ was held at the Marina beach in the early hours, where more than 200 people participated, including the doctors and staff of Fortis Malar hospital, volunteers from the NGO Avvai Home, University PG Hostel, and various educational institutions. Social Activist and cine actor RJ Balaji flagged off the walkathon.
Awareness leaflets, highlighting the importance of heart health were distributed by the volunteers to general public. A signature campaign in support of ‘Heart-healthy habits’ and organ donations was also held at the end of the walkathon.
World Heart Day is observed on September 29 every year to help people better understand and create awareness about cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attack, stroke and hypertension. The theme for the current year is “Power your life”, which aims to promote a heart healthy lifestyle among people.
On the occasion, Dr KR Balakrishnan, Director – Cardiac Sciences, Fortis Malar Hospital said “Educating people on the importance of creating heart healthy environments is vital to bring about healthy lifestyle changes. Behavioral risk factors like obesity, smoking, alcohol abuse, physical inactivity, etc. are the key contributors to fatal cardiovascular diseases. Creating a heart healthy environment includes ensuring that the places where we live, work and play should be free from all the risk factors of cardiovascular disease. Smoke free zones, availability of healthy organic food and ample green spaces to promote a physically active lifestyle can help direct people towards a heart healthy lifestyle”.
“This World Heart Day, Fortis Malar Hospital joins hands with Cardiac Wellness Institute to bring world-class cardiac rehabilitation to its patients. Cardiac rehab is a globally recognized treatment to help protect your heart and prevent future complications. It is a medically supervised exercise-cum-education program to improve the quality of life and add meaningful years to the life of individuals with heart attack, bypass surgery and other open-heart surgeries, angioplasty and stent procedure, heart failure, and even heart transplantation. Cardiac rehab and cardiac drugs work together to reduce the risk of repeat hospital admissions and recurrent procedures in heart patients.
Heart transplantation is a life-saving procedure for individuals with end-stage heart disease. The expert team at Fortis Malar Hospital, Chennai, has successfully performed over a 100 heart transplants. Just like precise coordination of the various steps prior to a transplant is very important, so is the after-care of those adapting to a new life with a new heart. Cardiac rehab after heart transplantation is proven to give better outcomes and longer survival rates. So this World Heart Day Walk is but a joint effort to raise awareness about ways to prevent heart disease and to live healthy with heart disease ” stated Dr. Priya Chockalingam, Clinical Director of Cardiac Wellness Institute, Chennai.
Approximately 26 million people worldwide are living with heart failure. There are an estimated 45 million patients of coronary artery disease in India. Current projections suggest that India will have the largest cardiovascular disease burden in the world in spite of the rapid advances in detection and treatment. One fifth of the deaths in India are from coronary heart diseases and by the year 2020, it will account for one third of all deaths. Sadly, many of these Indians will be dying at a very young age, since heart disease in India occurs 10 to 15 years earlier than in the west. With millions hooked to a roller-coaster lifestyle, the future looks even grimmer. Raising awareness about the risk-factors and encouraging people to adopt healthy lifestyle behaviors is the most effective strategy to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease in our country.