KARACHI: Heart specialists at National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD) have advised the people to drink excessive water during Sahri, avoid eating fried and high-calorie sweets at Aftaar, reduce salt consumption and rely more on fruit and vegetables to avoid heart attacks and other complications.
“During Ramzan, due to the bad eating habits, an increase of at least 10 percent of heart patients is being witnessed at NICVD for past some years. With little awareness and precautionary measures during the holy month, people can stay healthy and avoid heart related complications”, Executive Director (ED) of NICVD Dr. Nadeem Qamar said during a news briefing here on Wednesday.
Accompanied by another renowned cardiologist Prof. Dr. Nadeem Rivzi, Executive Director NICVD Dr. Qamar deplored that some people eat excessively during the holy month that they gain more weight instead of losing it and eventually, they end up at the hospitals due to heart disease.
When a person keeps fast during Ramzan in the summer, his or her blood gets thick, Dr. Nadeem Qamar explained, saying this thickness of blood can lead to clot formation in the veins and result in heart attack or stroke. He advised people to drink plenty of water during Sahar and Aftaar timings. “Dehydration leads to electrolyte imbalance and this can also result in heart disease”, he warned.
Advising people to avoid eating fried items like Pakoras, Samosas and high-calorie sweets like Jaleebi, he urged them to rely more on eating fresh fruit, fresh juices, wholesome wheat bread and vegetables.
He claimed that chronic patients of heart ailments should consult their doctors before deciding to observe fast because heart patients’ life could be in danger due to keeping fast and avoiding essential medicines without the proper guidance and consultation from their physicians.
Patients of diabetes and hypertension, who have to take medicines regularly, should also consult their doctors before fasting, he said and added diabetes and hypertension medicines must be re-adjusted during Ramzan to facilitate the patients.
To a query, he said in case of heart attack, a person should be given aspirin immediately as it is proven medicine that prevents mortality while Anjicid medicine should be placed beneath the tongue before shifting the patient to hospital.
He claimed that in Pakistan, incidence of premature coronary heart disease was very high as compared to other countries due to genetic reasons while smoking was also a major cause of increase in heart diseases among younger people between 30 and 50 years of age, which is very unfortunate. “We have no concrete data of heart patients but we believe that every 2nd person after the 50 years of age is heart patient in Pakistan”, he added.
“We have purchased 14 new ventilators to provide state-of-the-art heart care to patients, while we have started conducting free cardiac surgeries of children of general ward”, he informed, adding that hospital was trying its best to provide quality healthcare free of cost to the patients. “At NICVD, we have the best team of surgeons who can perform the bypass procedure and conduct open heart surgery as good as team of surgeons in the Western countries or in the United States”, he added.