Note Making: Epidemic of Heart Attacks

The epidemic of heart attacks has been attaining alarming proportion in recent times causing grave concern especially to the medical fraternity.

To contain and control the increasing death and disability from heart attacks and to focus on public awareness and their involvement at global level, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the World Heart Federation (WHF) observed September 24th as the World Heart Day.

What causes heart attacks? Dr. H.S. Wasir, Chief Cardiologist and Medical Director, Batra Hospital and Medical Research Centre, lists four main habits which adversely affect the heart health. These are: lack of physical exercise, wrong eating habits, cigarette smoking, excessive alcohol consumption and stressful lifestyle.

The importance of physical exercise in minimising the incidence of heart attacks cannot be underestimated. ‘‘Physical exercise,’’ says Dr. Wasir, ‘‘plays a major role in achieving a long and healthy life in general and prevention of heart attacks in particular.’’ There are several studies showing that physically active people have higher longevity than those sedentary or physically inactive.

In fact, the review of modern medical literature sums up the role of physical activity in health as ‘regular physical exercise adds not only years to life but also life to year.’ It is the experience of many modern day physicians that some patients of angina (chest pain or discomfort on physical or mental exertion or after meals) do get relief with regularly done physical exercise.

What type of physical exercise and how much, one may ask. It is the isotonic (dynamic) exercise that is beneficial for the heart and not the isometric (static) exercise which should be avoided by heart patients. Weight-lifting, carrying heavy suitcases while travelling, pushing a car, etc., are some of the examples of isometric exercises. Examples of the beneficial type of physical activity (dynamic exercise) are: brisk walking, swimming, golf without power carts, badminton and tennis (doubles for those with old heart attacks but fully recovered, to be started only after physician’s advice).

Walking is the best mode of doing regular physical exercise which requires no equipment, money, material or membership of a club! 30 to 60 minutes brisk walk even on alternate day has been proven to be beneficial. Stationary cycling or walking on a treadmill at home are the other alternatives.

Walk up the stairs instead of using a lift if going up to three or four floors or getting off the lift two or three floors before the destination and walk up the rest through stairs. Going up several floors in an overcrowded lift with limited fresh air to be shared by so many may, however, prove unhealthy.

Park a little away from the workplace and walk that healthy distance.

Best time for brisk walks would be the early mornings before the traffic flow picks up and walking in the parks with thick plantation. Jogging on the roads with heavy traffic should be avoided as you will be inhaling air polluted with the toxins from vehicular exhaust such as dioxides of sulphur and nitrogen.

‘‘Before starting anyphysical exerciseprogrammes forthe firsttime, onemust getfully evaluatedby a cardiologist, so as to avoid any harm being done by exercise, if there is serious underlying heart disease needing treatment,’’ warns Dr. Wasir.

Q. Make notes on the above passage in a suitable format. You should use recognizable abbreviations wherever necessary. Give a suitable title to your passage.

Increase in Heart Attacks at Alarming Rate

  1. World Heart Day
    1. Observed pm 24 Sept.
    2. Observed by WHO and World heart Federation
  2. Causes of heart att by Dr. H.S. Wasir:
    1. Lack of physical exercise
    2. Wrong eating habits
    3. Cig. Smoking
    4. Excessive alcohol consumption
    5. Stressful lifestyle.
  3. Exercise beneficial for hlth:
    1. Brisk walking
    2. Swimming
    3. Golf without power carts
    4. Badminton and tennis
  4. Precautions:
    1. Avoid overcrowded lift
    2. Avoid jogging on heavy traffic roads
    3. Consult physn. before any physical exercise prog.
Key to Abbreviations
1. hlth – health
2. att – attack
3. Sept. – September
4. cig – cigarettee
5. physn. – physician
6. prog. – programmes

Q. Write a summary of the passage based on your reading.


Heart attacks are increasing at an alarming rate. WHO and World Heart Federation has observed 24th September as the World Heart Day. Lack of physical exercise is one of the major causes of heart attacks. Static exercises should be avoided whereas dynamic exercises like brisk walking, swimming etc., should be taken up. Best time for brisk walking and jogging is early in the morning when there is no traffic. Last but not the least, Dr. Wasir warns that before starting any physical exercise programme, a Cardiologist must be consulted so that there is no harm in taking any kind of exercise.

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