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‘Pakistani children programmed to have heart diseases’

Karachi: Pakistani children and youngsters are programmed to have heart diseases, diabetes mellitus and hypertension as compared to other ethnic groups in the world due to their genes. 

At the same time, because of their unhealthy lifestyle, children as young as 12 to 18 years of age are having high blood pressure and diabetes while young man in their late 20s e and early 30s are dying due to heart attacks.

“Pakistanis are at a higher risk of having hypertension, diabetes and Ischemic Heart Disease (IHD) due to their inherited genes but due to poor lifestyle, children as young as 12 to 18 years are having high blood pressure, diabetes while young men and women are having heart attacks in their late 20s and 30s.

There is an urgent need to conduct research and collect data to find out causes and prepare preventive strategies”, said Prof. Feroz Memon, President of Pakistan Cardiac Society (PCS) while addressing a news conference at his office on Wednesday.

On the occasion, Pakistan Cardiac Society (PCS) and the Health Research Advisory Board (HealthRab) signed a memorandum of understanding, through which HealthRab would finance 4th Cardiology Research Award in order to promote research in the field cardiology.

As per MoU, top three researchers would be given cash awards on their papers during the annual conference of PCS to be held at Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology (AFIC) in October-November this year.

“We have come to know that Pakistanis are having heart attacks, hypertension and diabetes a lot earlier as compared to other ethnic groups.

This is because of their genetic characteristics as well as their lifestyle which is making Pakistanis as a diseased nation”, Prof. Memon said and added that they were trying to promote research in the field of cardiology and risk factors leading to cardiac ailments so that the nation could be prevented from early deaths and complications of the heart diseases.

Prof. Memon said due to awareness and lifestyle modifications, people in other parts of the world were living healthy lives and their rate of having Ischemic Heart Disease (IHD) was reducing while in Pakistan, ratio of people having heart diseases was constantly on the rise, which should be alarming for the nation as well as authorities.

“In order to save our future generations, we have decided to promote the culture of research in the area of cardiology and in this regard, HealthRab is helping us for last three years. We hope that this research and data collected by our young researchers would help us in saving thousands of lives annually”, he added.

Eminent dialectologist and Vice President of Health Research Advisory Board (HealthRab) Prof. Abdul Basit deplored that except for the diabetes, Pakistan lacks reliable data of other diseases including heart diseases, stroke patients and other communicable and non-communicable diseases but added that now HealthRab has promoting culture of research in the area of healthcare and soon Pakistan would have its own figures and data to prepare national preventive strategies.

“At the moment, we are relying on American, European and other countries’ facts and figures except for diabetes but it is hoped that soon we would have enough data and research to know what should be done to prevent our people from communicable as well as non-communicable diseases” Prof. Basit said and suggested Pakistan Cardiac Society to launch a national survey in collaboration Pakistan Health Research Council and other stakeholders to get reliable data on heart diseases in Pakistan.

“Our research also shows that Pakistani children are programmed to develop diabetes and heart disease in their later stages of life. The only thing we can do is to apprise them what can be done to prevent themselves from acquiring these ailments by adopting health lifestyle”, Prof. Basit said and urged the government to launch a national awareness program to educate people about how to live a healthy, disease-free life.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Cardiac Society (PCS) also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Sehat Kahani to provide cardiac-care facilities to people in remote areas of Pakistan through telemedicine.

The MoU was signed between Dr. Sara Saeed of Sehat Kahani and the Prof. Ishtiaq Rasool, the General Secretary of Pakistan Cardiac Society (PCS).

Titled “Pakistan Cardiac Awareness and Access Program”, the memorandum of understanding would produce a working partnership between home-based female doctors and cardiologists belonging to PCS to provide healthcare facilities to people in remote areas through digital medium while Sehat Kahani experts would be taking care of diagnostic and other needs of the patients.

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