‘Inhaling polluted air as dangerous as smoking’

‘Inhaling polluted air as dangerous as smoking’

July 23, 2023

Mysore/Mysuru: Renowned Cardiologist and Director of Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Research Dr. C.N. Manjunath has expressed concern over the increased number of heart-related diseases due to air pollution.

He stated that approximately 2.2 million people die each year in the country due to heart diseases and emphasised that inhaling polluted air is as dangerous as smoking. Dr. Manjunath made these remarks while speaking at the release function of a Kannada book titled ‘Namma Arogya, Namma Ahara, Namma Javabdari’ authored by K.C. Venkatesh. The event was organised jointly by Shivayog Desi Goshale, Vidya Vikas Educational Institutions and Dr. M.H. Marigowda Horticulture Education and Research Foundation at Kaveri Auditorium, Karnataka State Open University (KSOU) premises in city recently.

“To promote better health, products from Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF) and fruits and vegetables from Horticulture Produce Cooperative Marketing Society (HOPCOMS) are essential. They are like our two eyes. In India, only about 11 percent of the population consumes fruits and vegetables daily. To increase this percentage, we should all include fruits and vegetables in our dietary habits, he said.

A significant amount of food worth Rs. 90,000 crore is wasted annually at large functions. “We should not offer stale food to anyone but instead provide fresh food to the hungry,” he added.

Dr. Manjunath highlighted that 60 percent of India’s population is affected by diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes, which he attributed to changing food habits and lifestyles. He noted that compared to other nations, Indian youths suffer more from diabetes, citing changes in priorities as the reasons for these serious ailments.

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Furthermore, Dr. Manjunath underlined the importance of regular exercise, recommending at least one hour of physical activity daily. He mentioned that habits like walking, Yoga, getting sufficient sleep, having meals with family members, laughing, and fostering friendships are all freely available and have no side effects. Such habits help prevent diseases.

In the past six years, Jayadeva Hospital has treated over 6,000 patients for heart-related ailments, with 35 percent of them being below 40 years of age. Heart-related issues are now more prevalent among the youth and middle-aged individuals. Stress-related issues are affecting women around the age of 30, contributing to heart problems. He identified excessive smoking, alcohol consumption, consumption of junk food and unscientific lifestyles as the reasons for these ailments.

Dr. Manjunath regretted that even rural lifestyles are changing, with urban food habits making their way into rural areas. The rural population, who traditionally consumed nutritious foods like ragi, jowar, fruits and vegetables, have now switched to junk food. This shift has resulted in a higher incidence of heart-related issues in rural communities as well, he noted.

The event was attended by former MLA Vasu, agriculture expert K.P. Suresh, natural therapist K.S. Giriraju, retired Director of Horticulture Department Dr. L. Hanumanthaiah, journalist Amshi Prasannakumar and others.


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