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Friday, September 28, 2012

One in 3 Mumbaikars has abnormal lipid levels

    Nearly one in three Mumbaikars has unhealthy lipid levels that greatly heighten the risk of heart disease, according to a new survey. The study showed that the country's metros, including Delhi, Chennai and Bangalore, have worryingly high burden of dyslipidemia—abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels—that is mostly attributed to sedentary lifestyle and westernised diet. 

    Mumbai's citizens, the survey revealed, have the worst low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels as compared to the other three cities. A whopping 51% of the 17,655 patients surveyed here between January and July this year had borderline high or high levels of the bad cholesterol. Increased LDL is known to play a significant role in hardening the fat that goes on to choke arteries, which eventually leads to heart attack or stroke. 
    Initiated by diagnostic major Metropolis Healthcare, the survey studied lipid profile investigations—comprising cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels—of 2.7 lakh people in the four metros and found abnormality in as many as 33% cases. 
    In Mumbai, the survey found about 54% of women—particularly aged 35 to 50 years—had higher cholesterol levels than men. Forty-six per cent of the men here were noticed to have high or borderline high cholesterol. Among children, the survey discovered that over 2% did not have 
the desired levels of good cholesterol or HDL. A senior cardiologist from a state-run hospital blamed the troubling statistics on the rapid change in eating patterns in urban households. "Weekly outings now mean eating fast food, which is high on cholesterol. Ready-to-eat food could also be a contributing factor," the doctor said. 
    Experts believe dyslipidemia is a crucial parameter in gauging the burden of heart disease in a nation. 
    In the survey, Bangaloreans were found to have the worst degrees of cholesterol. While 42.61% of them had abnormal levels, 30% of Mumbaikars had such levels. Interventional cardiologist Dr Vijay Bang, who consults at Bandra's Lilavati Hospital, said the trend is worrying. "It has become imperative that people be pushed to exercise and adopt better dietary habits," he asserted. 
    The head of interventional cardiology at Breach Candy Hospital, Dr Dev Pahlanji, said almost every patient who meets a heart specialist today has at least one abnormal lipid parameter. "The trick is to watch out for related factors such as genetics, dietary and lifestyle. Hypertension, stress, smoking and diabetes contribute to heart ailments." He recommended that anyone over 50 should be up-to-date on their lipid profiles. 
    The survey found that 48% of women and 34% men who had high cholesterol levels were above the age of 50. Pahlanji cautioned that, if the heart disease epidemic among Indians has to be controlled, the bar for checking lipid profile should be lowered due to genetic and dietary factors.


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