India has the dubious distinction of being the heart disease and diabetes capital of the world. Heart disease is the leading cause of death, and what's worse is that it strikes Indians, during the prime years of their life. Heart disease can be a life changing event, and many patients never fully recover from the blow and end up being 'cardiac cripples'. It starts with a lack of mental confidence leading to a drop in physical capability, which further reduces the confidence and the vicious cycle continues. The good news is that heart disease is a largely preventable disease, and if appropriate lifestyle measures and medication are undertaken early enough, you may never need to undergo a cardiac interventional procedure.
At the Preventive Cardiology and Rehabilitation Department at Asian Heart Institute, we have a tailor made program to suit all categories:
Heart disease can be a life changing event as we discussed. But it can also be a positive life-changing event. If appropriate care is taken, most people not only recover from their event, but go on to improve their quality of life, to a higher level than before. After a heart event, post-care and rehabilitation is a vital part of the process. A structured cardiac rehabilitation program is crucial to get the patient on the path to recovery, and to prevent further illness.
The term cardiac rehabilitation, as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) refers to coordinated, multifaceted interventions designed to optimize a cardiac patient's physical, psychological, and social functioning, in addition to stabilizing, slowing, or even reversing the progression of the underlying atherosclerotic processes, thereby reducing risk of further disease.
The goals of cardiac rehabilitation are:
Your treatment is incomplete without cardiac rehabilitation
Leading cardiology associations, such as the American Heart Association, have classified Cardiac Rehabilitation as a Class I recommendation, on par with other life saving measures such as a daily aspirin dose. Extensive research shows that patients who underwent cardiac rehabilitation, showed a 20% reduction in total death and 26% in cardiac deaths when compared with those on usual medical care.
The patient exercises using portable heart monitoring equipment, known as telemetry. With the help of this special equipment, the ECG is continuously transmitted to the monitoring station wirelessly while the person is exercising. This ensures that the optimal amount of exercise is performed in the safest manner possible.
An individualized program of lifestyle modification, including nutrition, stress reduction and counselling is planned for the patient. Diet forms an important part of a healthy lifestyle and great emphasis is taken to ensure that the patient has a diet plan which is individualized to their needs.
Cure the disease, don't just repair it
Heart disease is caused by the presence of risk factors. During cardiac rehabilitation, great emphasis is placed on educating the patient on his/her risk factors and ways to reduce them. This helps attack the root of the problem. Many cardiac rehabilitation programs also include meditation and yoga, which greatly benefit patients through stress reduction.
Group support helps
Heart disease can be a very traumatic event in a person's life. Several patients go through a short period of depression when they first get out of the hospital, wondering if they will ever be 'normal again', and be able to resume their activities. The support of family and doctors is extremely important, but often the best guidance comes from another person who has gone through the same experience. When in the cardiac rehabilitation program, patients interact with others who have had the same problems. This group support is very helpful to the patients and is an integral part of the program
Those who have had:
Research shows that employers typically devote about 95 percent of health benefit expenses to treating illness. Overall these expenses could be significantly decreased by shifting more resources to preventive care and health promotion efforts. We offer a variety of corporate preventive health programs which are tailored to the needs of the company. The services range from education lectures to intensive on-site yearly programs.
Benefits of a corporate preventive program:
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The Dept. of Preventive Cardiology & Rehabilitation has been set up with an aim to provide the third option to cardiac patients. For a patient suffering from heart disease angioplasty or bypass surgery are not the only solutions. The department has housed the cutting edge ECP (External Counter Pulsation) technology, a revolutionary new non surgical cardiac treatment option for patients for more than three years. ECP is an FDA approved modality for the treatment of angina & heart failure (patients with low heart pumping capacity)
External counter pulsation has produced positive effects in patients with coronary artery disease. Some of the benefits are as given below:
The ECP facility at AHI is designed to increase the ejection fraction (EF)-pumping capacity of the heart and improve the exercise capacity. An analysis of 50 patients with heart failure (EF< 35%) & having received the ECP treatment showed encouraging results. There was a significant improvement in the Ejection Fraction, 6 Minutes Walk Distance & Quality of Life.
Heart failure patients usually suffer from a very poor quality of life. Post ECP therapy, a significant improvement was seen in both the physical and mental components in the quality of life test as assessed by the SF -36 quality of life questionnaire.
The quality of life was measured in fifty patients using the SF-36 questionnaire. The results showed statistically significant improvement in both physical health by 22.3% and mental well-being by 17% of patients.
Every year, 75 of our cardiac patients run the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon and show the world that heart diseases cannot deter them from living a healthy life. Often, people feel that their life ends with a heart disease but out patients show that life can actually begin fresh after it.