Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

Dr A Rajaram Prasad says time is muscle

Early detection is the key to preventing cardiovascular complications

Published: Mar 14, 2023 12:21:46 PM IST
Updated: Mar 14, 2023 07:58:11 PM IST

Dr A Rajaram Prasad says time is muscleHeart attack or myocardial infarction is caused due to plaque formation in the blood-supplying arteries resulting in permanent, irreversible damage to the heart. Heart attacks can be asymptomatic or with vague indications like extreme fatigue, syncope, or low BP, which are prevalent among diabetic and older adults. The prominent symptoms of a heart attack include chest pain, severe sweating, and breathlessness.

Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) have been identified as the leading cause of mortality in India, contributing to nearly 25% of deaths in people aged between 25 and 69 years. Several factors trigger cardiovascular manifestations, including age, genetics, unhealthy lifestyle habits, and clinical conditions like obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol.

The treatment strategy for heart attacks includes revascularization therapy (to open the blood vessel) or thrombolysis (clot buster drug therapy). However, thrombolysis is effective within 6 hours of the onset of symptoms. Depending on the clinical condition, doctors might also recommend angioplasty and stent placement procedures.

One should remember, "TIME IS MUSCLE." The sooner the intervention is planned, the better the clinical outcomes. In India, delayed treatment is often attributed to a lack of awareness, negligence of symptoms, delay in reaching hospital, and deliberation over treatment decisions by the patient's relatives. It is essential that people understand that chest pain should never be disregarded and must be examined promptly within 1-6 hours of its commencement, as timely diagnosis and treatment can prevent chronic complications and improve the rate of recovery to a large extent.

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