Ms Kanchan Naikawadi

World over, more than 72 lakh men and women die each year of Coronary Heart Disease (CHD). According to estimates and current trends, almost 26 lakh Indians are predicted to die due to coronary heart disease by 2020.

Mumbai, Maharashtra, September 25, 2012 /India PRwire/ — World over, more than 72 lakh men and women die each year of Coronary Heart Disease (CHD). According to estimates and current trends, almost 26 lakh Indians are predicted to die due to coronary heart disease by 2020. However, 80% to 90% of such cases can be prevented by controlling risk factors like tobacco consumption, alcohol abuse, etc. and following a healthy lifestyle that includes a healthy diet, control over high blood pressure & blood cholesterol and regular preventive health checkups.

Ms Kanchan Naikawadi, Director, Indus Health Plus, India’s leading preventive health care service provider says, “Heart, the wonderful gift of nature that quietly goes about its work, is taken for granted or worse still ignored and abused. The consequences are obvious and apparent. Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the leading cause of death in India with more than 14 lakh deaths every year.”

How Does CHD Kill?

Pipes called arteries make way for the blood to be pumped out of the heart, channeled throughout the body, and brought back. The arteries that lead it (blood) out of the heart to a finer group of pipes called capillaries decrease in size gradually while the ones that bring blood back keep increasing in size. This remarkable system becomes susceptible and vulnerable to assault, finally leading to a breakdown when the walls of the arteries supplying blood to the heart get clogged by waxy and oily substances commonly known as cholesterol and fatty deposits (or plaques). The decreasing levels of blood supply starve the heart of oxygen and vital nutrients required for it to work properly. This can cause chest pain, technically known as angina. However, if the blood supply to a portion of the heart muscle is cut off entirely or if the required energy of the heart becomes much greater than its actual blood supply, the most likely result is an injury to the heart muscle, commonly known as a heart attack. In most cases, the attack is usually not preceded by any visible symptom, thus leading the victim to a sudden death!

Who Gets Killed?

Contrary to popular assumptions that non-communicable diseases (NCD) affect wealthy nations, latest statistics suggest that over 80% deaths caused by cardiovascular diseases (CVD) take place in low and middle-income countries. Also the occurrence is almost equal among men and women. Unless intensive and comprehensive measures in prevention, diagnosis and treatment are adopted, it is expected that 82% of the future increase in coronary heart disease will occur in developing countries like India.

Mr. Amol Naikawadi, Joint Managing Director, Indus Health Plus says, “Cardiovascular diseases, especially coronary heart disease and stroke may occur due to genetic predisposition or environmental influences. However, the rise of the incidence of CHD in India may be attributed mainly to unhealthy and altered lifestyles than to genetic factors. Our insistent need to mimic foreign cultures and adopt lifestyles inimical to healthy living is duly reflected in the current scenario of physical and mental health in India. Consumption of tobacco, alcohol and fast food, coupled with physical inactivity, obesity and low consumption of vegetables and fruits has led to high blood pressure, high cholesterol and higher levels of stress eventually ending up with cardiovascular diseases. Approximately 75% of cardiovascular diseases can be attributed to high blood pressure, high levels of cholesterol, tobacco use, physical inactivity, obesity and unhealthy diets. If only we could help ourselves from indulging in our vices, so many untimely deaths could have been prevented.”

Ms Kanchan Naikawadi, Director, Indus Health Plus adds, “Popular myths that heart diseases usually affect older people as a result of ageing, is fast losing ground. In reality, the risks for cardiovascular diseases start in youth. It is estimated that around 1.8 crore children around the world under five years of age are overweight. Also, 14% of students aged 13 to 15 years around the world smoke cigarettes. The average age for the onset of such non-communicable diseases has also declined and younger people in the age bracket of 25 -40 are increasingly becoming susceptible to heart-attacks and strokes.”

Can It Be Prevented?

Old habits die hard. However, it is preferable that habits die instead of living, breathing human beings! Intensive studies have revealed that while genetic factors play a part, an unhealthy lifestyle affects and influences 80% to 90% people dying of coronary heart disease. Developed countries in the West – where the death rates from coronary heart disease have decreased – implemented policies related to improved prevention, diagnosis and treatment. A significant change in lifestyle, in particular reduced smoking among adults and lower average levels of blood pressure and blood cholesterol, improved the mortality rate.

According to a report published by WHO, “of all coronary heart disease patients who die within 28 days of the onset of symptoms, about two-thirds die before reaching hospital. This highlights not only the need for early recognition of the warning signs of a heart attack, but also the need for prevention.” The early warning signs can be detected through regular (at least once-a-year) preventive health checkup. If any anomaly is detected, and depending on the stage of the damage done, remedial measures can be taken.

Notes to Editor

We would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to Indus Health Plus, pioneer in facilitating high-end preventive health checkups at affordable prices across India.

Major portion of healthcare is focused on curative leaving only a smaller chunk for preventive. In a nation like India, with inequitable distribution of scarce resources, preventive healthcare is essential. A 2005 report of the National Commission on Macroeconomics and Health states that “Prevention of diseases, particularly non-communicable diseases (lifestyle diseases) that are expensive to treat, is the most cost-effective strategy for a country facing scarce resources.” Leveraging on this opportunity Indus Health Plus was started in 2000.

Kanchan along with her husband Amol Naikawadi, Joint Managing Director, started Indus Health Plus with an aim to spread the awareness of Preventive Healthcare all over India. The company which started from scratch today has touched the mark of being a 95-crore company. Their main USP being that all the reports of the various tests are delivered to the respective person on the same day along with the consultation, which is nowhere seen in the world.

Indus has a very emotional and humble beginning. Ms. Kanchan Naikawadi, Director in charge of Operations and also one of the founders lost her father to cancer in the late 90s. As the cancer was detected at a very latter stage her father succumbed to the disease and passed away. This incident left Kanchan with a realization that how important preventive healthcare is. A person who looks fit and fine from outside might be suffering from various health issues internally and this will only be detected until the later stage or when he goes through a checkup. Kanchan thought of banking upon the latter option and start an initiative in the area of Preventive Healthcare. And that’s how the journey of Indus Health Plus started.

Mr. Amol Naikawadi & Ms. Kanchan Naikawadi can talk about their entrepreneurial journey, the need of Preventive Healthcare in India, Indus’ expansion plans and also touch upon other relevant topics.