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The most important part of our body is the heart and if it is healthy, you will always have a smile on your face. The number of heart disease sufferers has increased rapidly worldwide due to disorganized lifestyles and unbalanced eating. In this hectic life, people do not get a chance to pay attention to their health, which they have to pay a heavy price. According to cardiologists, heart disease can happen to anyone at any age, there is no prescribed age for it. Due to various reasons like stress, fatigue, pollution, etc., this very important organ that exchanges blood is difficult to do its work, that’s why ‘World Heart Day’ awakens the people to feel conscious about heart diseases as World Heart Day is celebrated every year on 29 September

History of Celebrating World Heart Day

Heart diseases and heart attacks are a major cause of 29 per cent of deaths worldwide. More than 1.71 crore people die every year from heart diseases and heart attacks. Celebrating ‘World Heart Day’ was started in the year 2000 to make the common people aware of these diseases and taking special care of heart health. Until now, ‘World Heart Day’ was celebrated on the last Sunday of September, but from 2014 it will be celebrated on 29 September itself.

Volunteer organization ‘World Heart Federation’ celebrates’ World Heart Day ‘every year in partnership with the World Health Organization’ (WHO). Because of the increasing number of heart diseases and victims, the United Nations has decided to celebrate 29 September as ‘World Heart Day’.This day is celebrated annually to spread awareness about heart disease and to promote their prevention and control measures.

The objective behind celebrating World Heart Day

Heart disease has emerged as a serious disease all over the world today. Every year, through ‘World Heart Day’, awareness is spread among people all over the world. In our country, even young people are falling prey to this disease. One of the biggest causes of this disease is ‘stress’. Doctors point out that stress is the biggest enemy of the heart. Stress is the biggest enemy of the heart. In today’s life, stress has increased a lot. So it is difficult to avoid this disease completely, but as far as possible, distance should be maintained from it. In times of stress, we must listen to the voice of our heart, to keep the heart away from stress.

The chemicals that are released from the brain due to stress, spoil the entire system of the heart. Yoga can also be resorted to overcome stress. The heart is an organ in our body that continuously pumps and conducts blood flow throughout the body. The heart is in the middle of the circulatory system and blood vessels like arteries and veins carry impure blood from every part of the body to the heart and carry pure blood from the heart to every part of the body.

Keep Your Heart Healthy

Today more than half of our life is spent in our workplace and office. In such a situation, we should take care of how the health of the heart should be maintained according to its functioning. To keep heart health one should adopt the following:

  • Everyone should take some time to exercise and for at least half an hour daily is good for the heart.
  • If there is a shortage of time, you can also take a quick walk.
  • Food and diet should be taken according to health.
  • Use small amounts of salt.
  • A low-fat diet should be taken in food.
  • Eat plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits.
  • Have your breakfast and lunch daily on time.
  • Keep a distance from substances like tobacco.
  • Sitting in the same position for hours can be harmful to the heart.
  • Cycling, walking and swimming regularly must be done.
  • One should do yoga and meditation for 30 minutes daily.
  • Do not smoke at all, it is very dangerous for the heart.
  • Choose an edible oil that has zero trans fatty acids.
  • Get a minimum of 7 hours of sleep daily as sleep is necessary to keep your heart healthy.
  • Reduce caffeine intake and drink green tea.
  • Drink eight to ten glasses of water daily.


In India, heart disease has increased very fast in the last 27 years which is revealed by new studies. Detailed estimates from 1990 to 2016 of heart and blood vessel diseases in every state of India show that these diseases have increased, but their prevalence varies considerably in different states. Of the total deaths in India, deaths due to cardiovascular diseases and paralysis were 15.2 percent in 1990, which has increased to 28.1 percent in 2016. Of the total deaths, 17.8 percent were due to heart disease and 7.1 percent to paralysis. The ratio of death and disability due to heart disease is significantly higher in men than women, but the paralysis was found equally in men and women.

At the same time, the number of deaths due to cardiovascular diseases in the country increased from 13 lakh in 1990 to 28 lakh in 2016. The number of patients with these diseases has increased from 2.57 crore in 1990 to 5.45 crore in 2016. Their prevalence was highest in Kerala, Punjab and Tamil Nadu. After this, more cases have also been found in Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Goa, and West Bengal. In 2016, more than half of the total deaths due to cardiovascular diseases in India were under 70 years of age. According to a research scientist, studies show that every state should have proper management in this context.

Heart-Related Diseases in India- A small Glance

  • Nearly 20 crores under 30 years of age are hypertensive patients
  • 19% of the total deaths each year are related to heart disease.
  • Getting treatment within four to five hours of a heart attack is very important
  • After an attack, up to 60% of the heart’s capacity is affected.

Due to the unorganized lifestyle, stress, pollution etc. every fourth youth of the country stands on the threshold of a heart attack. Of these, more than half of the youth do not even know about their disease. This is the reason why only 10 percent of young patients are reaching the hospital for treatment.

According to the report, one in every four youth in the country has high blood pressure. If it is not treated for a long time, it affects the heart. Due to the pressure of about three times the capacity, the pumping of the heart is affected and the patient becomes vulnerable to a heart attack. On the basis of this report, the central government has also started a national program for free screening for hypertension patients in 100 districts of the country.

Symptoms of a Heart Attack

According to the doctors, the biggest symptom of heart attack is considered – severe chest pain. Often in a film scene, whenever someone has a heart attack, he grips his chest loudly, due to pain, his eyes start to look nervous and he falls to the ground. We all feel that after a heart attack, we will feel like our chest is being crushed. There is such a feeling, but not always.

When there is no supply of blood to the heart, a heart attack occurs. Usually, due to any obstruction in the path of our arteries, the blood does not reach the heart, which is why there is severe pain in the chest. But sometimes there is no pain in a heart attack. This is called a silent heart attack.

Dos and Don’ts for a heart patient


  • Use ginger, cloves, garlic, dry ginger, black pepper, peepal, cloves, bay leaves, rock salt with food.
  • Stay stress-free and happy and do yoga, meditation and pranayama, even walk on foot every day.
  • Eat less and do not take more than 80 grams / 80 mL of caloric food at a time.
  • If you walk on the treadmill, try to have a heart rate of 80.


  • Avoid foods that increase phlegm in the body like rice, curd, curry, cabbage, peas, radishes, urad dal etc.
  • Avoid using meat, alcohol, smoking, excessive tea, coffee, fast food, junk food, canned food, khoya, sour cream, butter and egg yolk, coconut oil, ice cream, etc.
  • Half-eaten food causes stomach rot, which increases the number of toxins in the body.


If you have been diagnosed with some rare, complex, or a serious medical condition or your doctor has suggested undergoing surgery, it is the best time for you to seek a second opinion. How does it is going to make a difference? Here are some answers that will help you understand the importance of the second opinion in diagnosis.

  • Get yourself a second opinion if you still have symptoms after the treatment
    Nobody knows your body better than you do. There are times when symptoms persist even after undergoing treatment, that is the time when you should seek advice from different healthcare specialists and doctors. Normally people do not stand up for themselves. Instead, they assume that they would never be able to get rid of those chronic diseases and uncomfortable feelings. Always remember, the right diagnosis is the only way to get the treatment that works fine for you. Therefore, do not settle if your symptoms are not going away. Connect with other doctors as well to get their opinion
  • Get yourself a second opinion if diagnosed with a rare, complexed disease
    Sometimes you are diagnosed with a rare disease that has very little research. When such thing happens, it becomes frustrating and frightening to find that you have been diagnosed with a rare disease. Hence, it is very important for you to get a second opinion from the doctors who have treated such rare disorders. It will help you to ensure that you get the best possible treatment for your medical condition.
  • Get yourself a second opinion if the recommended treatment involves surgery
    If your doctor recommends a treatment that is risky, involves surgery, or has lifelong consequences, it would not be a good idea to give go-ahead without exploring any options. Still, some people need to follow a procedure suggested by a doctor. They miss on to the most important fact that it is your body and life, and you have every right to agree with it or not. As a result, it is an ideal situation to get a second opinion, if your treatment involves some serious procedures, such as surgery. By being proactive and gathering more information will give you more control over the treatment.
  • Get yourself a second opinion if diagnosed with cancer
    Cancer can be a life-changing event, as cancer diagnosis is complexed and overwhelming. That is why it is very important for you to have all of the possible information about your prognosis and treatments available to you. Getting additional opinions to improve your chances of having the best possible treatment.
  • Get yourself a second opinion if you are not comfortable with diagnosis or treatment
    If you are not satisfied with your diagnosis or the recommended treatment, get yourself a second opinion. It would be incorrect on your part to agreeing to a treatment you are not comfortable with. Talk to your family and friends, get in touch with the doctors who have similar knowledge and experience to your current doctor. There are only a few conditions that require immediate decisions.

You should always remember, you are neither difficult nor in a denial about your current situation when you seek a second opinion. You are being just empowered and smart with this decision. Most doctors do support and encourage a second opinion. Lastly, if your second doctor gives you a go-ahead with the first one, you can move further with more confidence.


With growing technology, people have started looking for new ways to communicate with the doctors. People who are living in a rural area, online consultations with doctors have proven as an advantage. The online consultations allow the patients to directly chat or communicate with a doctor over the video call. Online consultations with doctors have made it simpler for people to access high-quality services at a low cost.

You can get personal advice from the doctor through an online consultation. Without worrying about the distance and location, you can get advice from the medical professional and save your time. It is very helpful for a bedridden patient who requires to visit doctors at regular intervals, online consultations can help you to connect with the doctor without leaving the comfort of your home. It is also very convenient for people who are living in places where no doctors are available.

Privacy is the major benefit of online consultation since it plays an important role in it. You can get medical advice from the doctors you have never met before. Apart from medical advice from the doctors, it is easy to maintain a record of the reports.

Below are some of the advantages that prove the growing significance of online consultations:

  • No waiting time
    Time has always been the concern that most of the patients complain about. There is no need for you to get in the queues at the reception and outside the doctor’s chamber. You can always book and pay for the appointment via an online portal created for online consultations. It makes things easy not just for the patient, but for the doctor as well.
  • No awkward feeling
    Most of the time it is very difficult for us to inform the doctor about our personal health issues, such as mental health problems or sexually transmitted diseases because there are other people as well in the doctor’s chamber. Online consultation gives the option of having a private conversation with the doctor while sitting in a separate room, at a suitable time.
  • No chances of infection
    You understand this, a doctor’s clinic or a hospital can act as a storehouse for any kind of infection. Since you are surrounded by the people who are sick, sneezing, or coughing as much as you are. You cannot always ask them to cover their mouth or use a tissue while sneezing or coughing. By staying at home and having an online consultation with the doctor, you completely eliminate the risk of infections.
  • Cost
    Online consultation saves your money. It is very cost-effective for patients who regularly visit the doctor. It saves your transport cost, visiting cost and time. You can get qualitative medical advice, diagnostics, and treatment with cost-effectiveness irrespective of the location.
  • Easy to get the second opinion
    There are times when it is very important to take a second opinion for your treatment from a different doctor. This facility is easily accessible through online consultation. It makes the second opinion very simple to verify your health status since you can get that at your home.

While having an online consultation, always make sure that you clearly share your medical issues with the doctor. It allows the doctor to recommend the right treatment and medicines to you.

Online consultations are quickly growing across the world due to benefits like cost, access, and time-saving. Need to consult a doctor for a second opinion, send a WhatsApp message at 7830206735.


Good 30 years back, I was a teenager, high on adrenaline when I first heard about operation desert shield/storm in 1990-91. I distinctly remember when I picked up a newspaper at my home on the morning of 3rd august 1990, the headline said: “Iraq attacks Kuwait”. The article went on about the unrest in the “gulf” due to oil, Iraqi govt financially impoverished by a long war at home and with Iran, demanded 10 billion US dollars from Kuwait due to its perceived losses in Rumailla fields. When compensation did not come through, Iraq invaded Kuwait on 2 August, it was an easy win for Iraq, as in part one was expecting this movie, and also because the military might of Iraq was far superior.War in Iraq Begins - HISTORY

To us in India, it did not mean much, as it never affected our lives directly, or even indirectly. Gulf was literally always on the war from the time oil was found there. Decades of Iran-Iraq war and many small scale wars between Saudi, Syria, Egypt, Lebanon were at best a nightmare in history books for Indian students. A tough list of events and dates to memorize!

However it all changed one night for me, there used to be a program on the national tv channel DD titled “The world this week”. We did not have any private news channels then. This program telecasted only on Friday nights as a weekly round-up of news and events across the world. I vividly remember seeing missile being fired and bombs being dropped, as real video clippings thanks to CNN footage obtained by The world this week. This was new, for the first time actual live videos of a real war were being sent across the world and sold for profit! Such visuals started coming almost daily as a part of the news on DD, updates of gulf war became a norm, even many times a day, different news related to war was being telecasted courtesy CNN.

This soon became an international obsession, the whole world was getting almost an hourly update of the war. The war had become a show! This brought television as a powerful tool and through it delivered what appealed to the human psyche the most, human misery and death.

This was repeated in India by the owners of NDTV channel (erstwhile producers of the world this week) during their live coverage of Kargil war in 1999 between India and Pakistan, Barkha Dutt as a reporter on the ground became a national celebrity almost instantaneously after this transmission. To us Indians what was started during the Gulf war, got an encore in Kargil war.
Barkha Dutt in tiger Hill July 1999

Fast forward almost two decades, and another human tragedy the Swine flu hit us hard. This was the first pandemic where from a very early stage we had a fair level of media attention and the 15-18 months period of rising and subsequent fall of number and severity of cases was documented. Pandemic started from North America, possibly from Mexico, and spread across the world. Initial mortality of H1N1 was in the range of 8-10%, and with initial mutations, rapidly came down to 3-5% range for the early half of this pandemic period. Later half of this pandemic was like any other flu season, with mortality going below 0.5%. There were even allegations that WHO along with many big pharma companies “created” a “false pandemic”. However, this was a known enemy, we had faced it many times, there were ready medicines, and vaccine also came about, the previous flu vaccines could give partial immunity and many individuals had innate immunity. Overall swine flu officially infected 491,382(lab confirmed) cases, though the estimated number was anywhere between 700million to 1.4 billion, which is almost one-fifth of humans. Death officially was pegged as 18,449(lab confirmed) though estimated deaths were anywhere between 1.5-6millions. Though public frenzy was there, it was not over the top, and public health care systems handled the scenario well(at least in the hindsight).

Covid China
Fast forward another 10 years, and hell has broken loose! This time the enemy was unknown, and the origin place being China, everybody suspected the source of virus(including yours truly). There are countless conspiracy theories, about the origin, propagation, severity, and even pathophysiology of this infection. The rapidity with which this disease spread caught everybody by surprise. The media attention to this pandemic has been truly unparalleled. In the history of humankind, no other “event” has received this much attention. The world literally stopped due to “lockdown”. WHOs role in this pandemic has been far from satisfactory. Initial false reassurance that there is no human to human transmission and later overly scary nonscientific updates confused the medical and administrative faculty worldwide, and continue to do so.

The role of media has been far from satisfactory, the initial sensationalization of the whole epidemic,  keeping a public count and updates being given almost hourly has caught the maximum public frenzy ever! From the point of view of the media, this is the biggest show ever! What was practiced during swine flu, got an encore here, and the art of selling fears, perfected? Even I bought it, initially and fear pulverized me.

Dr Mahesh Wadhwani | best cardiologist in indiaWe doctors, particularly we, the heart surgeons have always been at war with germs. There is no other branch where the obsession with cleanliness and sterility is more than in cardiac surgery. After all if even one of our patients gets infected, it’s either an infection of the heart or in chest bone, both can potentially be lethal in their own right. So we are constantly at war with bugs. Washing hands repeatedly, not touching objects unnecessarily, wearing masks for prolonged duration are all typical tenants of training in cardiac surgery. I realized soon in this Pandemic that we cardiac surgeons are perfectly suited to fight this disease. Alas, my confidence did not last long, as very soon the news from the UK came, where a junior cardiac surgeon, posted on COVID duty died due to the same disease. One more senior cardiac surgeon died in south India, taking away all my early confidence about remaining on top of this disease.

With time, however, it has dawned on me that it’s like many other pandemics in that sense. Early mortality was in the range of 8-10%, it’s steadily coming down. Trick is to delay the inevitable, and keep telling the virus “not today” and hopefully later when it has attenuated more, the virus will spare us the complications and learn to live with us. That’s why we have to learn to live with COVID (#livewithcovid). I feel if we stay very cautious and follow all the principles of avoiding infection, and with a dash of luck, we will not get it. It’s more of hope than a plan, but then humans have fought wars with much fewer chances and won many times in the past. On this note, I would also appeal to all readers that we humans were threatened by a small virus and were reminded by mother nature once more, that we are tenants only on this planet, let’s not try to be the owners of mother earth. At least let’s try to live on earth as responsible tenants and respect nature more.

As for media personnel, I understand you all also are human beings and it’s natural for you also to be scared of this disease. Let’s tone down the rhetoric for now, and put a slow end to this “show”. There were many a medical crisis in the past and there will be many in the future, let’s not make it commercial. As you well know, operation desert storm did bring some results and stability in the gulf, but the 2003 Iraq war turned out to be based on a false premise of weapons of mass destruction, when there were none.

Opinion based on American heart association guidelines

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