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No increase in heart attacks: Dr Hegde on World Heart Day 2020

September 29, 2020
– Shivani Chaturvedi
Dr Belle Monappa Hegde

Source: Facebook

Dr Belle Monappa Hegde popularly known as Dr BM Hegde is a nationally renowned cardiologist based in Mangalore. He is also the former vice chancellor of Manipal University. Author of over 40 books on medical practice and ethics, Dr Hegde was awarded the Dr BC Roy Award in 1999, and honoured with the Padma Bhushan in 2010.

Speaking over phone with EducationWorld on World Heart Day, Dr Hegde says that a healthy mind leads to a healthy heart. He also shares that in reality there is no absolute increase in the rate of heart attacks in the country.     

Excerpts from the interview:

Where does India stand and how do Indians fare in heart health? Is it an upward or downward trend?

In reality there is no absolute increase in the rate of heart attacks, it is only a relative increase. Just a hype has been created over it.

What is the impact of COVID-19 on heart health? 

There is a very little impact of COVID-19 on heart health. In fact COVID-19 has nothing to do with heart health as it doesn’t directly affect the heart. But if one has heart disease this virus might worsen the condition. Any stress on the heart can make the condition of the patient worse.

What practical solutions would you suggest in the current pandemic?

One should keep the mind healthy. Take time out for the hobbies and enjoy it. Daily exercise, good walk, nutritious diet, hard work, and a clean mind devoid of negative thoughts would keep one healthy.

Nowadays there is a growing trend of intermittent fasting and keto diet. How does it affect heart health?

Dieting is good for heart health but one should not get over obsessed with weight loss. 

Is there a chance that too much exercise could actually be bad for our hearts?

Too much of anything is bad. Same applies to exercise. Too much exercise puts unnecessary pressure on the heart.         

Is there any recent advance in heart health you think many may not know about?

There are significant advancements in the treatment of coronary artery disease.

Nowadays people are using devices like smart watches, fitness bands to monitor heart health. According to you, what all information that these devices are collecting could be useful?

These devices are useless and actually are of no help in monitoring one’s heart.

What kind of health regimen do you follow to maintain a healthy heart?

I eat wisely, exercise regularly, do hard work, keep my mind healthy, and try to be compassionate towards others. 

Read: Abnormal heart rhythm in children sign of ADHD?

Also read: How to detect cardiovascular diseases and keep them at bay

Also read: Time to focus on heart education

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