Ludhiana, December 8, 2017: Dr.Harinder Singh Bedi, Chairman Cardiac Sciences at the Cardiac Care Center, a unit of Ludhiana Mediways Hospital, delivered a talk on the topic ‘How to Be Heart Smart’ to the distinguished faculty of Punjab Agricultural University in Pal Auditorium on 7th December. Dr.Pardeep Kumar Chhuneja, Head of the Entomology Department of PAU, organized the talk by Dr.H.S.Bedi. Dr.Ashok Kumar, Director Extension Education, extended a warm welcome to the heart surgeon. Other prominent people present on the occasion were Dr.S.S.Gosal, Member Board of Management and Dr.S.S.Kukal, Dean College of Agriculture. About 200 staff members including Deans, Directors and Heads of different Departments listened to Dr.Bedi’s lively and interactive talk with rapt attention. Dr. H.S Bedi stated, “The incidence of heart disease in Punjab is as high as 6% with 61 people out of every 1000 people being affected by this disease. The most worrisome thing is the rising incidence of heart disease in people in the age group of 30-40 years” Through different examples, slides and quotes, the Cardio-Vascular Surgeon informed the audience about the hazardous effects of stress, hostile emotions, a sedentary life style and unhealthy diet on the heart. “The heart does not get an attack on its own; it is we people, who attack our heart through an unhealthy lifestyle,” he said.
Speaking about heart health in winters, Dr. Bedi informed the audience, “The risk of having a heart attack during winters is almost twice as high as in summers and the winter attack is also more likely to be fatal.” He added, “Cold weather poses a danger to those with heart disease because of a number of reasons. First, when a person gets exposed to cold weather, his body’s automatic response is to narrow the blood vessels of the skin so that body heat is retained. This narrowing of blood vessels leads to a rise in blood pressure, which puts strain on the heart because the heart has to work harder because of increased Blood Pressure. Also, blood supply to the heart gets reduced due to constricted blood vessels. This may be tolerated well by a normal heart, but in a diseased heart it can precipitate a heart attack.”
Dr. Bedi added, “In cold weather, blood platelets appear to become more active and therefore blood is more likely to clot. Even the levels of cholesterol rise during winters. People tend to eat and drink more and gain weight during winter months and the holiday season, all of which are bad for the heart. In addition, stress and depression increase during winters leading to a higher risk of heart attack.”
Urging the esteemed faculty of PAU to take special care of their heart health in winters, Dr. Bedi affirmed, “Remember to regularly take all your medications (for high BP/Diabetes/high cholesterol/any heart disease like angina) as recommended by your doctor. Don't ignore symptoms or postpone visiting a doctor if you are feeling unwell. Avoid tobacco, coffee, tea or alcohol just to warm you up because the additional nicotine and caffeine put a stress on the heart. It is important to sit in the sun to improve your spirits and your levels of Vitamin D. Consume a prudent diet low in saturated fats and calories; avoid fatty, fried and non vegetarian food. You can take nuts and dry fruit in moderation if you are not overweight.” The Cardio-Vascular surgeon added, “During winters, try to keep your heart healthy by sticking to your normal exercise plan, but avoid early morning walks. Instead, wait for sunrise before going for a walk. Make sure you wear proper clothes before going out in winters-a thermal inner, muffler, cap, warm socks and a jacket are important for enjoying a healthy walk.” Cautioning against sudden vigorous exercise in a gym, Dr. Bedi said, “It is important to start your exercise regime slowly because the Cardio-Vascular system can adapt to slow and progressive changes, but it has a much more difficult time adapting to sudden changes. Let a properly trained gym instructor chart a graded exercise programme for you.”
The audience greatly appreciated and enjoyed the interesting talk on heart health. Dr. S.S. Gosal presented a memento to Dr. H.S. Bedi and Dr. S.S. Kukal, Dean College of Agriculture, thanked Dr. Bedi for his informative talk.