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****KARACHI: An alarming increase in incidence of cardiovascular disease is being witnessed in Pakistan for last few years where young people between the age group of 30 to 40 years have started dying due to cardiovascular disease.****

Around 30 to 40 percent of all the deaths are now occurring due to heart and cardiovascular system related illnesses in Pakistan, consultant cardiologists said on Tuesday and advised the nation to change it lifestyle to prevent its youngsters from deaths because of heart attacks.

“Cardiovascular disease has become the most common cause of death in Pakistan and now people less than 30 years of age are also having heart attacks in Pakistan. Deaths due to cardiovascular disease in the age group of 30 to 40 years is becoming common in Pakistan due to sedentary lifestyle and other risk factors including heavy smoking. There is an urgent need to transform Pakistani nation’s lifestyle to prevent young people’s deaths”, eminent cardiologist Prof. Dr. Javed Akbar Sial said while talking to newsmen in Karachi on Tuesday.

The awareness session was part of a day-long ‘Heart-Health Camp’ jointly organized by the Karachi Union of Journalists-Dastoor (KUJ-D) and Karachi Press Club (KPC) in collaboration with National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD), Karachi and local pharmaceutical firm PharmEvo in connection with World Heart Day 2020 at KPC.

Around 150 male and female journalists were attended the Heart Health Camp where blood pressure, sugar, cholesterol, Body Mass Index (BMI) and ECG monitoring facilities were available while consultant cardiologists examined the patients and advised them to shed weight by having balanced diet and regular exercise, quit smoking and improve their lifestyle to remain fit and healthy.

Visiting doctors said majority of journalists examined during the day-long camp were either over-weight or obese, many had their Body Mass Index (BMI) high or very high while several were having their high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. They were advised to avail the gymnasium facility and exercise regularly for 30 to 40 minutes to keep their blood pressure, sugar and weight in permissible limits.

Speaking to journalists at an awareness session in connection with World Heart Day 2020, Prof. Javed Akbar Sail maintained that nowadays cardiovascular disease has become a disease of poor and people from low socio-economic group of the society are having heart attacks and other complications of the cardiovascular system more frequently as compared to the people belonging to higher socio-economic group.

“Hypertension, diabetes, smoking and obesity are some of the major risk factors of cardiovascular disease and these risk factors are very common among young Pakistani population. Our people are not very fond of physical activities, sports or any other type of physical exertion. Smoking and use of tobacco is on the rise and these factors are leading to high incidence of cardiovascular disease among younger Pakistanis”, he added.

Another cardiologist from NICVD Dr. Jahangir Ali Shah advised journalists to avoid smoking, saying those who are heavy smokers should quit smoking as it is not only a strong risk factor for the cardiovascular disease but it also results in causing large strokes, irreversible damage to lungs, cause cancer and other serious neurological and psychiatric illnesses.

Samar Iqbal Jaffri of local pharmaceutical firm PharmEvo said they have organized over a dozen heart-health awareness camps in entire Karachi while walks, seminars, camps and awareness activities have been organized in entire Pakistan to create awareness about preventive measures against cardiovascular diseases.

“We are striving for a healthy society and in this regard, Pharmevo is trying is best to make people healthy, both mentally and physically”, he said adding that they have engaged senior cardiologists, medical students and people from other walks of life to create awareness about cardiovascular diseases in the society.