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6% of young Indians suffer from heart disease
According to the Global Burden of Disease Study, the developing countries contributed 3.5 million of the 6.2 million global deaths from CAD in 1990, writes Dr. Kannan and colleagues from Dept. of Pharmacy Practice at Sri Ramachandra University, Porur, Chennai in the January Edition of Indian Journal of Clinical Practice.

Coronary artery disease (CAD) occurs when the arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle harden and narrow. The prevalence of CAD in India has more than doubled in the past two decades.

India topped the world with 1,531,534 cardiovascular disease-related deaths in 2002, and based on WHO report, 2009, CAD currently occupies the first place in causes of death.

It is estimated that 9.2 million productive years of life were lost in India in 2000, with an expected increase to 17.9 million years in 2030.

Salient features of the CAD epidemic in India:

- Incidence of CAD in young Indians is about 12-16%, which is higher than any other ethnic group

- Age-standardized estimates for disability-adjusted life lost due to CAD per 1,000 population in India are three times higher than in developed countries.

- About 5-10% of heart attacks occur in Indian men and women younger than 40 years

- Median age of first heart attack in Indians is 53 years

- 1,55,88,000 DALYs (WHO, 2009)

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