PGI integrates targeted weight loss to treat heart patients : The Tribune India

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PGI integrates targeted weight loss to treat heart patients

PGI integrates targeted weight loss to treat heart patients


Tribune News Service

Naina Mishra

Chandigarh, March 24

The cardiology department at PGIMER is adopting a holistic approach to treating patients with functional heart diseases by integrating targeted weight loss strategies alongside traditional medication in their outpatient departments (OPDs).

Heart conditions with obesity correlation

  • Coronary Artery Disease: Narrowed arteries from fat deposits reduce blood flow, leading to chest pain, heart attacks and potential death.
  • Hypertension: High blood pressure strains the heart and vessels, increasing risks of heart attacks, strokes and kidney disease.
  • Aortic Stenosis: Narrowing of the heart’s aortic valve causes symptoms like breathlessness, chest pain, fatigue and fainting.
  • Atrial Fibrillation: Chaotic heart rhythm, often linked to obesity and obstructive sleep apnea, manifests as rapid and irregular heartbeats.

Dr Parag Barwad, additional professor, PGIMER, Chandigarh, highlighted the significance of addressing obesity in heart disease management, stating: “Approximately, 70 patients with heart ailments visit our cardiac department OPD, with around 50% of them being obese.”

Obesity significantly heightens the risk of heart diseases due to its association with elevated blood fats, inflammation and resultant blood vessel damage and plaque accumulation. This raises the likelihood of heart attacks, strokes, heart failure and atrial fibrillation.

Furthermore, increased body size leads to greater blood volume and subsequently higher blood pressure, placing additional strain on the heart and blood vessels.

At PGIMER, patients were encouraged to aim for 10% weight reduction over six months through personalised diet plans and regular exercise, including brisk walking for 4 to 5 km daily. For those unable to achieve this target, a multi-modal approach involving medication assistance was employed.

Patients with a BMI exceeding 35 were advised to consider bariatric surgery, such as gastric sleeve or bypass surgery that has shown significant efficacy in achieving weight loss, particularly in individuals with class 3 obesity. “We’ve observed that patients who managed to shed 10% of their body weight experienced an 8 to 10% decrease in blood volume, resulting in lower blood pressure,” Dr Barwad said. This reduction in weight not only aids in blood pressure management, but also correlates with a notable decrease in atrial fibrillation occurrences, the doctor added.

About The Author

The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.

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