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A six-fold rise in heart attacks

Gs Paper-3

Syllabus: General Science



India’s financial capital Mumbai witnessed a six-fold rise in deaths related to heart attacks in the first six months of 2021 when the city was under the grip of the second wave of Covid-19.

What are the factors behind the spike in cases?

  • Post-Covid development of thrombosis: SARS-Cov-2 damages the heart and blood vessels in infected patients which leads to the development of clots, heart inflammation, arrhythmias, and heart failure
    • Thrombosis occurs when blood clots block veins or arteries
    • Covid-19 can also cause microvascular damages, which may have also contributed to heart ailments
  • Additional distress was noticed in during the pandemic: Anxiety and stress levels further added to the heart ailments.
  • Delay in diagnosis of heart-related ailment amid the second wave: During the second wave, many patients avoided hospitals due to fear of contracting Covid-19, which further delayed life-saving treatment.
    • Reperfusion therapies like Thrombolytic therapy (that dissolves clots) and timely interventions like angioplasty (the procedure used to widen blocked or narrowed coronary arteries) were delayed
  • Better recording of heart-attack cases: since the start of the pandemic, medical practitioners are more conscious of segregation and bifurcation of types of deaths as well as maintaining better data related to heart attacks.
  • Major lifestyle changes: Life has become more sedentary with fewer options for socialisation and physical activities
    • Doctors have witnessed an increase in the prevalence of diabetes, hypertension, smoking, alcohol use and an unhealthy lifestyle in the last two years.
    • Indians have a genetic predisposition, smaller coronary arteries, a diet pattern with excessive consumption of trans fats and a sedentary lifestyle that puts them in a high-risk category for heart attacks


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Lifestyle disease biggest health risk for Indians

Practice Questions:

Q. Critically comment on the extent, scope and implications of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in India. (10M)

Q. Diseases of affluence are overtaking poverty disease in India reflecting the growing middle class. Elucidate (15M)

Source: Indian Express