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Heart attacks claim 80 lives per day in Mumbai

A senior BMC official said heart-related deaths indicated the dominance of non-communicable diseases over communicable diseases in Mumbai.

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Updated: May 03, 2015, 11.06 AM IST
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A senior BMC official said heart-related deaths indicated the dominance of non-communicable diseases over communicable diseases in Mumbai. 
A senior BMC official said heart-related deaths indicated the dominance of non-communicable diseases over communicable diseases in Mumbai. 
(This story originally appeared in on May 03, 2015)
MUMBAI: The 'Maximum City' takes a massive toll on the heart: 80 Mumbaikars died every day due to heart attacks between March 2014 and March 2015, up from 67 deaths daily during the same period the previous year.

Data given out by BMC in response to a Right to Information query showed that 29,393 deaths due to heart attacks were registered in the city during the between March 2014 and March 2015. In the previous financial year, 24,603 Mumbaikars had succumbed to heart attacks.

The seriousness of Mumbai's heart problem can be gauged from the fact that heart attacks account for a third of annual deaths in the city. For instance, 31% of the 93,254 deaths recorded in Mumbai in 2014-15 were due to heart attacks, showed the RTI data. "We have been collating Mumbai's health data since 2010 and found that roughly 70,000 to 80,000 deaths occur every day. Heart attacks account for the biggest chunk,'' said Milind Mhaske from Praja Foundation, an NGO that brings out a white paper on the city's health every year.

The present data was collated by RTI activist Chetan Kothari by filing an application under the Right to Information Act with the BMC's health department. "Heart attacks have been the leading killers for the last 15 years. Tuberculosis comes a distant second and cancer is the third medical cause for deaths,'' said Kothari. The BMC data showed that in 2014-15, at least 19 Mumbaikars died due to tuberculosis while 18 others died due to cancer every day.

A senior BMC official said heart-related deaths indicated the dominance of non-communicable diseases over communicable diseases in Mumbai. Dr N O Bansal, who heads the cardiology department of the state government-run JJ Hospital in Byculla, said, "It is entirely possible that heart disease is the largest killer in Mumbai as there is better data collection in Mumbai than other places. Mumbaikars are not following good health habits, be it eating right or exercising right.''

Heart surgeon Dr Ajay Chaughule from Global Hospital, Parel, said, "Coronary artery disease is a lifestyle disease worsened by urbanization. A person living in an urban area is more likely than a person living in a rural area to have heart disease." The lack of open spaces where people can walk or exercise, easy availability of high-fat food items and sugary drinks as well massive mechanization makes urbanites more prone to lifestyle diseases like obesity, diabetes and heart diseases. "Moreover, emerging research says that air pollution is a major cause for heart diseases and cancer. Another contributory factor is daily stress, be it at work, crossing the road or at school,'' said Dr Chaughule.

Dr Bansal said people should include 20 minutes of exercise or walking in their daily schedule. computerization has robbed us of even the few steps that we would take at the workplace to move a file from one table to another. It is hence advisable to keep a check on one's blood sugar as well as cholesterol levels," he said.
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