The three-year long Saffolalife study, which is the country's largest study on risk factors causing heart disease, revealed that three out of every five women out of the 51.7 thousand urban India female respondents are at cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk.
It is astonishing to note that this high risk of heart disease sets in as early as 35 years of age in women. Even women as young as 35-44 years have the high risk rate of CVD.
The study was conducted in twelve leading metro and non-metro cities of India on 1.6 lakh urban people out of which, 32 per cent respondents were females and 92 per cent of them were less than 60 years of age. The data from the study was analysed by IMRB International.
Supporting the study, Shashank Joshi, Senior Endocrinologist, Lilavati Hospital and Research Institute said, "Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) in women are caused due to low HDL and high BMI. Apart from this, smoking, diabetes and high BP are other reasons putting women at risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Sedentary lifestyles, stressful work conditions and compromised diet also contribute in accelerating heart disease risk."
It is also alarming to note that women aged 35-44 are most at the risk of cardiovascular disease, which includes both housewives and working women, Joshi said.
In comparison to other 11 cities, the incidence of heart disease is one of the highest among women in Mumbai at 70 per cent.
The incidence of obesity among women aged 35 and above in Mumbai is at 53 per cent; and 57 per cent women have low HDL levels. While 68 per cent of Women in Mumbai do physical activity less than thrice a week, 61 per cent felt exhausted at the end of a working day. Looking at the dietary aspect, the whole grain consumption is very poor in Mumbai, the study said.
Women's heart health is a cause of concern as she is the caregiver in a family managing many roles. The findings of the study also revealed that housewives are as much at risk of CVD as working women.
Niti Desai, nutritionist and consultant dietitian, says, "High saturated fat, sugar and salt intake, rising stress levels, smoking and a lack of physical activity are few of the major contributory factors for deterioration of heart health in women.