Formula of 80 and precautions can help prevent heart attack during festive season

Eating healthy and not stopping physical activity should be the norm

According to a new study, Christmas Eve is one of the most dangerous times of the year for the heart. It has indicated that a person’s risk for heart attack reaches its peak around late night a day before Christmas. Christmas Eve is a time to cheer; people tend to consume excessive food, alcohol, and travel long distances, all of which may up the risk of heart attack. Emotional distress with acute experience of anger, anxiety, sadness, grief, and stress, too, increases the risk of a heart attack.

Food of animal origin and saturated foods contain cholesterol. A 1% rise in cholesterol raises the chances of heart attack by 2%. Heart patients should therefore avoid eating cakes during the Christmas and New Year Season. They should distribute fruits and dry fruits instead of cakes.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said:

In the emergency room, heart attacks can be both over and under diagnosed. About 10% of heart attacks are over diagnosed and an equivalent number can be missed as the ECG can be normal in the first six hours after a heart attack. Most heart attacks occur during winter all over the world including India. Missing heart attacks during this period in the early hours of the morning can lead to spurts in number of cases of sudden cardiac death. Moreover, most senior doctors maybe on vacation during Christmas further worsening the situation for the common man. Every effort should be taken to reduce the number of false positive or false negative diagnosis of heart attack.”

Men and women have about the same adjusted in-hospital death rate for heart attack — but women are more likely to die if hospitalized for a more severe type of heart attack.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, Group Editor-in-Chief of IJCP, said, "As doctors, it falls upon us to educate our patients and make them aware of ways to live a healthy lifestyle to reduce the burden of disease in older age. I teach my patients the Formula of 80 to live up to the age of 80 years.

• Keep lower blood pressure, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) ‘bad’ cholesterol, fasting sugar, resting heart rate and abdominal girth all below 80.

• Keep kidney and lung functions >80%.

• Engage in recommended amounts of physical activity (minimum 80 min of moderately strenuous exercise per week). Walk 80 min a day, brisk walk 80 min/week with a speed of at least 80 steps per min.

• Eat less and not >80 gm or mL of caloric food each meal.

• Observe cereal fast 80 days a year.

• Do 80 cycles of parasympathetic breathing (pranayama) a day with a speed of 4/min.

• Do not smoke or be ready to spend Rs 80,000/- for treatment.

• Those who drink but do not want to stop and there is no contraindication, limit alcohol intake to no >80 mL/day for men (50% for women) or 80 gm/week. 10 gm of alcohol is present in 30 mL or 1 oz of 80 proof liquor.

• Do not take >80 mL of soft drink at one go (dilute it to 200 mL by adding soda).

• Take 80 mg of aspirin, if prescribed, for prevention.

• Take 80 mg atorvastatin for prevention, when prescribed.

• Keep noise levels below 80 dB.

• Keep particulate matter PM 2.5 and PM 10 levels below 80 mcg per cubic meter.

• Expose yourself 80 days in a year in sunlight to get vitamin D.

• Achieve 80% of target heart rate when doing heart conditioning exercise.

• Get 80% immunity by taking Flu and pneumonia vaccine.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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