Heart diseases in Indian women under-recognised: WHO

Ahead of the World Heart Day tomorrow, the World Health Organisation (WHO) today said that cardiovascular diseases among Indian women are “under- recognised” and remain “under-treated”.

“On World Heart Day this year, WHO is also calling on countries to take action to reduce heart diseases in women. Cardiovascular diseases are a major health problem among women and remain under-recognised and under-treated,” Poonam Khetrapal Singh, WHO Regional Director for South-East Asia, said in a statement.

A study released today by ‘Saffola Life’ said that over 60 per cent of Indian urban women in the age group 30-45 years are at risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Pointing out that risk factors for heart disease among women mirror those in men, Singh said that it includes lifestyle factors such as tobacco use, overweight and obesity, harmful alcohol use and physical inactivity, as well as physiological risk factors such as elevated blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes mellitus.

Additionally, in the South-East Asia region, exposure to household air pollution from using solid fuels for cooking substantially increases the risk of heart disease in women.

To reduce risk of cardiovascular disease in women she called upon health-care providers to be alert in recognising and managing cardiovascular disease risk in the fair sex.

The theme for his year’s World Heart Day is – ‘Healthy heart choices for everyone, everywhere’.

“It is a call to all sectors of government and society to create heart-healthy environment and provide heart-healthy choices for all individuals, where they live, work and play,” WHO said.

The WHO has set a target for reducing premature mortality from cardiovascular disease and other noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) by 25 per cent within 2025 in the south east Asia region.