Thousands of Lahorites were hospitalised during the Eid holidays due to excessive eating, injuries while sacrificing animals, meat cutting and in road accidents. Unfortunately we are a nation of excess. There is no moderation in the way we conduct our affairs, whether we are celebrating or expressing frustration. This Eid was spent with much zeal and fervor, perhaps a bit too much fervor that proved to be hazardous for over 5,000 people who were brought to emergency rooms of major hospitals for treatment of gastroenteritis, diarrhoea, high blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes.

Emergency rooms are busier than usual in all parts of the world on their respective holidays. Perhaps it is human nature to overindulge in the religiosity of the holiday and its celebration. As per management of different hospitals, majority of the patients were suffering from high blood pressure after eating excess of spicy meals. Excessive use of alcohol and drunk driving also caused a number of people to approach hospitals for emergency treatment.

Our unhealthy eating habits and lack of moderation has led to rampant heart disease and widespread diabetes. Cardiac disease is perhaps not as glaringly obvious or life threatening to gain much attention, like hepatitis or cancer. But the fact remains that the Pakistani population has one of the highest risks of coronary heart disease (CHD) in the world. In Pakistan, 30 to 40 per cent of all deaths are due to cardiovascular diseases (CVD). The CHD deaths in Pakistan have reached about 200,000 per year that is 410/100,000 of the population.

Over 60 percent of Pakistan’s population is less than 25 years of age and the burden of CVD in Pakistan is likely to increase phenomenally as that population aged over the next 10-15 years. This burden will result in a crippling effect on the nation’s economy and can only be controlled through effective strategies and resource allocation for prevention and treatment of CVD at both the government and non-government levels.