“Our study finds that there is no special predilection for younger population. In fact, we found that the number of patients below the age of 30 was only 0.3%, and between 30 and 40 years it was 2.8%,” says Dr Upender Kaul, executive director Fortis, Vasant Kunj who supervised the study. He added that 58.2% of patients were between 60-62 years of age. The study was based on records of 15,000 heart patients who checked in at Fortis hospitals in Delhi from 2011-2015. Most of the patients were from the country’s northern region.
The study also found that high cholesterol or dyslipidemia was the biggest risk factor for heart disease (58.1% of all cases), followed by hypertension (53.2%), current smoking (45%), diabetes mellitus (38.9%), and obesity (33.6%). Many patients had more than one risk factor.
The study also highlighted the male to female ratio in heart patients is 4:1. Fewer women suffer from heart disease but it is difficult to detect in female patients.
“Classic symptoms like chest pain or pain in the arm don’t always show in women. Instead, they get abdominal pain or back pain which could also be symptoms for some other diseases,” says Kaul.
What makes things more difficult is that ECG is not a reliable diagnostic tool for women. “Even a healthy woman can have an abnormal ECG result, leading to erratic diagnosis,” adds Kaul.