HYDERABAD - Pakistani population has one of the highest risks of coronary heart disease (CHD) in the world. In Pakistan, 30 to 40 percent of all deaths are due to cardiovascular diseases (CVD).

Eminent Cardiologist and Chairman Muhammad Kashif Shaikh (MKS) foundation Dr Muhammad Kashif Shaikh expressed these concerns in an interview with APP here on Monday.

He said that the major risk factors of (CHD) are tobacco , alcohol causes of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, diabetes, physical inactivity, stress and unhealthy diet.

Founder MKS Dr Kashif informed that the people over 40 years of age with family history of heart diseases , patients after Angiography and bypass surgery should take low dose aspirin regularly after consulting their doctors.

Dr Kashif sheikh talked about the new technology of CT angiography, which makes it possible to take pictures of arteries with very fast-speed CT scans. The test is performed by injection of contrast through an arm vein while the patient lies still and holds his breath for 15 minutes, added.

He said its cost is more than conventional Angiography and there are 15 percent patient in which the picture is not clear enough to reach a diagnosis, which means that they have to opt for conventional Angiography, added.

He said that the numbers of CVD patients is increasing day by day and most worryingly the younger generation too is falling prey to this ailment. There is need to bring minimal efforts towards improving our lifestyles.

Dr Muhammad Kashif Shaikh traced the history of coronary angioplasty said that 9 out of 10 angioplasties are successful and only 2 percent patients may require an emergency bypass during the procedure.

He said, 44,000 Angiographies and 8,000 angioplasties are being performed in Pakistan every year. He said the long-term success of angioplasty depends on regular medication, cessation of smoking, weight control, cholesterol management and a positive attitude towards life, added.

He advocate consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, cereals and pastas, elimination of pizzas and parathas, and 30 minutes of daily exercise to keep the cholesterol level within normal range.

Smoking increases the heart rate and blood pressure, and expedites narrowing of the arteries. Fifty of all smokers who continue to smoke eventually die of it, he warned.

Dr Muhammad Kashif Shaikh blamed the modern society for promoting a culture where physical inactivity, unhealthy dietary habits, increased obesity, and stress are the order of the day. He said, the Quran advises people to eat and drink, not in excess, but in moderation, and not to waste.

He further said that early resumption of physical activity after a heart attack is useful for recovery of the heart , provided this is done under supervision.

Dr Muhammad Kashif reflected on the benefits of exercise. Taking the life of Prophet Mohammad (S) as an example, he advocated brisk morning walk for 30 to 45 minutes, preferably with an empty stomach, and in the company of friends to increase chances of compliance. He said those who have heart disease can also engage in physical activity after seeking doctoral advice, added.

He advised people to protect their heart before it is damaged. For this, he underlined the need to plan one’s day and have time to unwind.