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Heart Blocks – Something to Reckon with!

We met Dr. Pratiksha about 10 years back. Information about preventive heart care was just trickling in the media. With 20 years of experience behind her, she is the pioneer in non-invasive cardiology in the global arena. We renewed our contact through Linkedin again and thought it would be the right time for an interview for A Journalist Reveals. Excerpts:

You were in Mumbai. When, how and why did you shift to California?

In 1999 we launched Institute of Preventive Cardiology in Mumbai with a mission to save India by preventing heart attacks and reducing morbidity and mortality due to heart diseases. Being India’s first woman preventive cardiologist has been a long journey working on pioneering this concept as this did not exist at that time. All details are on our website www.ipcheartcentre.com. After our success now, a lot of centers have mushroomed all over the country helping patients in this arena.

Dr. Pratiksha Gandhi
Dr. Pratiksha Gandhi

All cardiologists are focused on treating heart disease with bypass and angioplasty, which is correct as we are taught that in medical schools all over the world. However being a preventive medicine post-graduate and a gold medallist in public health, I could foresee that India needed preventive heart care as the data revealed 70% of heart attacks were preventable. Also during my career in over the last twenty years, we have data that over 80% surgeries are not required and patients can be treated with medications, lifestyle management and non-invasive therapies like EECP and chelation.

In 2014, IPC heart care was launched in California and I shifted there to establish our global headquarters. Our success in India empowered us to have a global vision in the coming years and the US, especially California is the bedrock of technology and innovation. We are collaborating with various scientists and doctors to bring in a global revolution of our mission of prevention of heart attacks and reducing premature deaths due to heart ailments.

Most people know about cholesterol and heart blocks. Media is brimming with information about it. Is there anything about the anatomy and physiology of heart blocks that people do not know about?

Cholesterol is not the only risk factor. It’s only the most hyped one. In fact, 70% of heart attacks are in patients with normal cholesterol levels. There are many risk factors in the causation of blockages. Mainly, non-modifiable risk factors like increasing age and prevalence in males, post-menopausal factor, are the same in males and females. The modifiable risk factors are high levels of cholesterol, stress, high blood pressure, diabetes, increase lipoprotein A levels, homocysteine in blood, lack of exercise and smoking.

So one can see it’s a lifestyle disease. With aging process after the 60s, one has more likelihood to have blockages but with correct lifestyle, it can be prevented.

Also, people don’t know that majority of heart attacks are caused by minor blockages in range of 40-70%, however, the entire industry is focused on treating the major blocks, which are over 70%. Due to this gap in knowledge and practice, despite increasing doctors and hospitals, the number of patients is increasing.

To be continued…                                                     

About Yashaswini K

Controversy is the second name of Yashaswini. She goes where something is amiss and picks up the threads to make a clear story out of it.

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