The annual conference of the Kerala Chapter of Indian College of Cardiology concluded here with a call to spread awareness about cardiovascular diseases among the public so that people would come forward for frequent diagnosis and continued treatment.
The cardiologists who attended the meet stressed the need for lifestyle modification and low-cost medications for hypertension, which is identified as the most alarming health condition leading to heart failure and stroke.
Talking on lifestyle modifications, Dr S S Binu said that optimal control of high blood pressure was the only rescue route to minimise the burden of cardio and cerebro vascular diseases. ‘’This calls for lifelong evaluation, treatment and care. Though we have an array of drugs to fight this menace, often the economic burden on the individual and the society is overwhelming,’’ he said.
He also said that the use of cheaper drugs like diuretics (water pills) could substantially bring down the treatment cost. ‘’Studies have found that these inexpensive drugs can be successfully used to control hypertension, either alone or more usually in combination with one other agent. Moreover, the side-effects of these drugs are also minimal. And the good news is that it has been proven that they are equally effective at the lower doses also,’’ he said.
Dr Madhu Sreedharan threw light on the increasing prevalence of renovascular hypertension, a form of high blood pressure caused by narrowing of the blood vessels supplying blood to the kidneys. ‘’Till the very recent past, cardiologists were treating it with angioplasty and stenting of the affected blood vessel. But now it has been seen that good results can be attained through drug therapy,’’ he said. He explained the importance of tailored anti-hypertensive therapy in reducing the complications of untreated hypertension.
On the role of cardiologists in the management of patients with acute neurological emergencies like stroke, Dr Prathapkumar explained that angioplasty is the accepted treatment of acute occlusion of blocks in coronary arteries. Similarly, these very same angioplasty skills can be fruitfully employed in the treatment of acute blockages in brain blood vessels, causing stroke-limiting disability and aiding rapid recovery.
Elaborating on the best practices in diabetes and heart care, Dr Mangalanandan said that it has been well-documented that many oral anti-diabetic drugs are not 100-per cent safe as far as the heart is concerned.