Heart diseases soar in nation diseases

The National, Monday July 11th, 2016

PAPUA New Guinea is seeing an increasing number of people with heart disease due to change of lifestyle, visiting cardiologist Dr Vineet Sankhla says.
“In my experience coming to PNG frequently, the coronary heart disease which involves the arteries of the heart is very rampant here,” Sankhla said.
“If you ask me the reason it could be of the lifestyle habits here and, of course, a little bit of tobacco and betel nuts which cause more heart diseases.”
Speaking at a press conference on Friday at the Pacific International Hospital, Sankhla said that he found that a good number of men and women from 40 years old were prone to heart disease, most commonly known as heart block and heart attack.
He said a lack of awareness of cardiac symptoms among people and doctors were also one of the reasons people were diagnosed a little bit late.
Consultant ophthalmologist Dr Amyna Sultan said Papua New Guinea was facing a double burden at present.
Sultan said the country was still fighting diseases such as TB and HIV/AIDS and coronary heart disease numbers were increasing.
She said the key message was for people to change their lifestyle, improve their diet and exercise to avoid getting the disease.