India and Heart Attacks

As per a World Bank Study published in February 2011, Indians and inhabitants of the South Asian Countries are very prone to heart attacks and suffer their first heart attack six years earlier than other groups worldwide. The age for first heart attack in Indians versus others was 53 vs 59 years. Indians also had high risk factors, such as diabetes, high lipids, low levels of physical activity and healthy dietary habits.

The report highlighted the following:

  • South Asians suffer their first heart attacks at 53, six years earlier than people anywhere else.
  • Heart disease is now the leading cause of death for South Asians aged 15 to 69.
  • A study in India found some non-communicable diseases left sufferers unable to work for 50 to 70 days.
  • Cardiovascular diseases would emerge as the main cause of death (36 per cent) in India by 2030.
  • Hypertension will rise to 213.5 million by 2025 from 118.2 million in 2000.
  • Heart diseases and injuries account for 12 percent of the country’s disease burden.
  • Non-infectious diseases account for 62 percent of the diseases in India.
  • Infections, nutrition deficiencies, and mother and child disorders account for 38 percent of the illness in the country.

Why Indians are more Prone to Heart Attacks?

  • Please note that the primary cause for the heart disease is increased obesity, diabetes, hypertension and cholesterol, which is basically related to the dietary pattern of Indians. The main intake of most Indians is Rice and the three meals of Indians have Oil / Butter as a main constituent. Rice / staple being main food, Indians are also more prone to diabetes.
  • Further, a research as also tried to prove that heart attack can strike Indians at least a decade earlier than their Caucasians counterparts because of their genetic make-up.
  • It’s difficult to circumvent the genetic factors that make South Asians more susceptible to heart disease and diabetes, but risk can be reduced by taking care of the risk factor such as smoking.

How Vitamin B3 is hope for heart patients?

Vitamin B3 or Niacin is one of five vitamins associated with a pandemic deficiency disease: niacin deficiency (pellagra), vitamin C deficiency (scurvy), thiamine deficiency (beriberi), vitamin D deficiency (rickets), vitamin A deficiency (night blindness and other symptoms). But the interest in Vitamin B3 in context with the heart diseases is due to Lipid-modifying effects. The earlier studies have found out that Niacin blocks the breakdown of fats in adipose tissue. These fats are used to build very-low-density lipoproteins (VLDL) in the liver, which are precursors of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol. Since, Niacin blocks the breakdown of fats, it causes a decrease in free fatty acids in the blood and, as a consequence, decreases the secretion of VLDL and cholesterol by the liver, thus helpful for the heart heath.


This is because, if LDL (bad cholesterol) is high and HDL (good cholesterol) is low, we know that a person is a high risk of Heart Diseases.


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