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Preventive cardiology can reduce heart disease

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 Dr H K Chopra is the Chairman of the Cardiological Society of India and World Wellness Foundation.

He has been instrumental in bringing and advancing various clinical modalities and innovations in healthcare in India. His specialties are medicine and cardiology, cardiac rehabilitation and non-interventional cardiology. He has amongst his patients a host of dignitaries including political leaders, bureaucrats, CEO’s, eminent industrialists etc.

Dr Chopra has treated current/former Presidents and Vice Presidents of India. He has organized 24 international congresses  and many national congresses and workshops on cardiology. A recipient of various national and international awards/orations, he has received the prestigious award “Icon of the Century in Clinical, Preventive Cardiology and Echocardiography by Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, former president of India. In an exclusive interview with BS Rawat, Dr Chopra talks about the rapid increase in the number of patients suffering from hypertension and how certain policy changes and a few preventive measures can dislodge this silent killer.

Drug Today Medical Times:  Please share your thoughts about your journey so far.

Dr H K Chopra: I am engaged for more than 38 years in continuing medical education for doctors all over the world and public health education in the form of organizing free health checkup camp, health talks, TV and radio talks, interactive  health talks on digital media including facebook, twitter, linkedin, Instagram, Youtube, webinar, google etc. The journey had been really enjoyable in serving the society on health care issues, integrating science and spirituality for the first time in the world.

DTMT: What are some of your insights from working extensively with the Moolchand Medcity, and World Wellness Foundation?

DHKC: Working with Moolchand Medcity and World Wellness Foundation had been a tremendous joy, inspiration, morale boosting to take healthcare from India to the world in the form of publications of textbooks of cardiology, public health books for masses in association with ASSOCHAM, SCOPE, FICCI, Rotary and Inner Wheel District 301. Community Outreach programme of Moolchand Medcity is really value based and the intent of community service and serving the society is a great boost from World Wellness Foundation.

DTMT: How do you see the growing menace of coronary artery disease in India?

DHKC: There is a rising menace of coronary artery disease in India. It is 14% today, with a high mortality of 16 to 20%. Despite sophistication in technology,  prevalence of hypertension is rising 40% at the age 40, 50% at 50, 60% at 60, 70% at 70 and 80% at 80  in India in urban population. “To be an Indian is itself a risk for pre-mature coronary artery disease” because of genetic predisposition and faulty lifestyle such as sedentary lifestyle, lack of exercise, obesity, dyslipidemia,  eating the wrong food, at a wrong time, in wrong place, in a wrong manner, in wrong dose, in wrong environment, consuming fast food including saturated fat and transfat, high levels of stress, inability to cope with negative competition, ego, arrogance and cynical behaviour, consumption of tobacco and increasing air pollution and mental pollution.

DTMT: What measures are being taken to generate awareness on hypertension?

DHKC: A national survey of Hypertension was done under the aegis of Cardiological Society of India in 2015 where  more  than 1.2 lakh individuals' blood  pressure  was checked  over a  period of  8 hours. It created Limca Book of Records. The prevalence of Hypertension was reported to be 42%. More  than 45% of patients were  unaware of their hypertension and more than 40% were inadequately controlled.  We  are working on massive awareness campaign of hypertension in print, electronic and digital media. We  are planning to have BP Checkup booths on the railway stations, airports, malls, schools, colleges, corporates, PSUs, and various national and international forums. Periodical massive awareness on hypertension through print and  electronic media is the need of the  hour to halt the  rising menace  of high  morbidity and mortality which is hypertension inflicted. We also wish to release various theme based hypertension apps.

DTMT: How does CSI contribute to bringing technological innovations in the country?

DHKC: Cardiological Society of India is the most powerful academic body in Cardiology in India. They are actively involved in publication of textbooks of cardiology, organizing national conference on different themes in cardiology all over India. Research, national  registry, consensus statement, white  papers, CSI Position papers, policy making, advocacy, national and state government health ministry alliances, international alliances in cardiology. by using all possible methods of print,  electronic and  digital media to upgrade the standard of  providing state of art heartcare and promoting medical tourism in cardiology.  CSI is  actively involved in creating  a data base and  innovation on different segments  of cardiology.        

DTMT: What are your views on online pharmacy?

DHKC: Online pharmacy can be selective. It  can not be generalized as 70% of population is in the rural area and has no access to internet. However, selective  use of online pharmacy, like elsewhere in the world, may also enhance  standards of working in a very structured manner. It is a good initiative but should be in a  meticulous discussion with the pharmacists with appropriate understanding  of  pros and cons.

DTMT: According to you, what is the most important aspect of healthcare to be focused?

DHKC: The most  important aspect of healthcare  to be focused  is  primordial, primary and secondary prevention to reduce  the need of tertiary care. Preventive cardiology has a huge potential to reduce the rising menace of  heart  problems  in India. I firmly believe that there should be a paradigm shift from Illness to Wellness. We  must promote state of art  “Wellness Centres” in different  disciplines such as heartcare, cancer  care, joint care, brain care, eye care, kidney care, women and child care etc.

DTMT: As a successful doctor, what is the secret behind your success?

DHKC: The intent of Selfless Service, hardwork, attitude of  gratitude, perseverance, never give up attitude, continuous and  constant efforts is  the only way to be an achiever. Calmness and peacefulness of  mind enhance our potential. Perfect daily routine with no toxicity. Working with vision, zeal, confidence in a very structured outcome-driven manner is the only way to achieve the goals we decide. There is no shortcut to hardwork.

DTMT: Any event in your life, which has influenced you most?

DHKC: The teaching of my parents and my teachers to be  humble and full of  humility.  Not to be scared of  failures because they are the pillars of  success. My mother  was a  real source  of nurturing values in my life of  not hurting anyone including myself. Spirituality has a huge impact on my mind to be away from toxicity.

DTMT: How do you balance between your work and family?

DHKC: I love my family and respect them from the heart. I take care of  them to the  best of  my capability. My wife is a great source of inspiration and support for me  in whatever I do.  I have one son and one daughter, both are  married. And, I have two grandsons. I really love everyone from my heart  including my extended family and friends in India and abroad. It is this family’s affection and support which gives me a boost to work with everyone and for everyone.

DTMT: What makes you happy or satisfied?

DHKC: My real happiness is in serving others  without any selfish motive, especially children and  those who are upcoming in the society and need guidance, support and help. I also enjoy spirituality, writing books, participating in conferences, public service in form of organizing health check up camps  and Community Outreach programme. I really enjoy and feel highly satisfied if I can do anything  for anyone including animals, plants and the universe. My passion is “To Serve Unconditionally”.

DTMT: How do you see yourself ten years from now?

DHKC: I hope I will be very active and serve the society with lot of  enthusiasm. Working together will inspire me and will enable me to do whatever  best is possible from the core of  my heart for my patients, my colleagues, community and  society.

DTMT: Do you have some health care suggestions for our readers?

DHKC: I wish everyone should have health awareness intent with zeal for wellness. Everyone should follow a perfect daily routine, exercise regularly, meditate regularly, eat nutritious food, avoid junk foods, manage weight, be slim and smart, have attitude of gratitude, be friendly, be away for  toxicity, help others  to help yourself, follow the virtues  and attributes of spirituality to be calm, productive, confident, ethical and strong and lead the world as per your choice. Follow all the eight limbs of  yoga including Yama, (do's and don’ts), Niyama (Self discipline), Asana (Postures), Pranayam (Breathing Exercise), Pratihara (Contemplation), Dharna (Concentration) Dhyana (Meditation) and Samadhi (Transcendence).

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