Findings from a pan-India study reveal that more than 27% of people with one or more cardiovascular risk factors had high levels of bad cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) while 42.8% had elevated blood triglycerides.
The study, the findings of which were released on World Heart Day on Monday, highlights the increasing prevalence of dyslipidaemia (abnormal amount of lipids such as cholesterol and fat or both in the blood) among Indians.
Cardiovascular disease has emerged as the leading cause of death, with coronary heart disease (CHD) affecting Indians at least five to six years earlier than their Western counterparts. Dyslipidaemia plays a major role in the development and progression of coronary artery disease. High levels of LDL or bad cholesterol and low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or good cholesterol have been identified as independent risk factors for coronary heart disease.
“Challenges are multifaceted in curbing the burden of cardiovascular diseases in India sedentary lifestyles, wrong eating pattern, lack of regular physical activity and noncompliance to therapy when diagnosed with dyslipidemia have led to a steep rise in the number of people suffering from cardiovascular diseases (CVD),” said Dr Jamshed Dalal, cardiologist at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital.
The study also revealed that compared to the male population, women had higher average triglycerides – 172 milligrams per decilitre (in men) and 182.31 mg/dL (in women) and LDL (108 mg/dL vs. 113.51 mg/dL).
This means that women are more at risk of heart diseases.
Moreover, it was found that there was more adverse lipid profile, higher LDL and TG levels in the 30-59 age group.
“If we can manage to achieve an optimum level of lipid levels, we would mitigate the risk of CVD two fold. The first and single most change that people need to make is in their lifestyle beginning with food and then more physical activity,” said cardiologist Dr Nazir Juvale.
The study, conducted by pharmaceutical company Ranbaxy, covered a total of 46,919 patients from 212 cities across India with one or more cardiovascular risk factors such as diabetes, hypertension, family history of chronic heart disease and smokers.