72% of Corporate Employees Afflicted to Heart Disease: ASSOCHAM Survey


Night shifts can raise risk of heart stroke by more than 52%

INDIACSR News Network

NEW DELHI: Due to demanding schedules, high stress levels, lack of physical activity and poor eating habits, nearly 72% of the corporate  become more prone for the cardiovascular diseases, according to a recent survey conducted by ASSOCHAM on the occasion of ‘World Heart day’.

While releasing the ASSOCHAM survey its Secretary General, Mr. D S Rawat said, “Inactive lifestyle, lack of exercise and poor eating habits are making millions of urban Indians face a high risk of heart disease.” Majority of them are overweight and prone to heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems due to unhealthy blood pressure, cholesterol or blood sugar levels.

The survey further reveals that night shift workers are 52% more at risk than day workers of suffering a stroke or heart attack. People in these working shifts also have higher levels of unhealthy behaviours such as eating junk food, sleeping badly and not exercising, which are linked to heart problems”, points the survey.

ASSOCHAM Health committee Chairman Dr. B K Rao said, “shift work has long been known to disrupt the body clock and be linked to high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes”.

Around 55 per cent of the survey respondents fall under the age bracket of 20-29 years, followed by 30-39 years (26 per cent), 40-49 years (16 per cent), 50-59 years (2 per cent) and 60-69 years (approximately 1 per cent).

The report included the major cities like Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Hyderabd, Pune, Chandigarh, Dehradun etc. A little over 200 employee were selected from each city on an average. Delhi ranks first afflicted to heart disease followed by Bangalore (2nd), Mumbai (3rd), Ahemdabad (4th) Chandigarh (5th), Hyderbad (6th ) and Pune (7th ).

The survey was able to target corporate employees from 18 broad sectors, with maximum share contributed by employees from IT/ITes  and BPO sector (17 per cent).

Employees working in engineering and telecom sector contributed 9 per cent and 8 per cent respectively in the questionnaire. Nearly 6 per cent of the employees belonged from market research/KPO and media background each. Management, FMCG and Infrastructure sector employees share is 5 per cent each, in the total survey. Respondents from power and real estate sector contributed 4 per cent each. Employees from education and food& beverages sector provided a share of 3 per cent each. Advertising, manufacturing and textiles employees offered a share of 2 per cent each in the survey results.

The shift work defined as evening shifts, irregular or unspecified shifts, mixed schedules, night shifts and rotating shifts. The survey also contained day workers or the general population for comparison. Shift work was associated with a 52 per cent increased risk of heart attack, 28 per cent rise in coronary events and 10 per cent extra strokes.

Dr. Rao also said that corporate as well as shift workers should be educated about cardiovascular symptoms in an effort to prevent or avert the earliest clinical manifestations of disease.

As per ASSOCHAM’S corporate employees’ survey result, 72 per cent of the sample population are also suffering from disease/cardiovascular disease. It is found that hectic lifestyle and urbanization has become more prone for the cardiovascular diseases as people have become to more accustomed to lack of physical activity and poor eating habits. Obesity (2nd) and Depression (3rd) are the hard hit disease that was observed among the respondents, with 21 per cent of the sample corporate employees suffering this lifestyle disease. High blood pressure (B.P) and diabetes are the fourth and fifth largest disease with a share of 12 per cent and 8 per cent respectively as suffered among the corporate employees.

Spondolysis (5 per cent), cervical (3 per cent), asthma (2 per cent), slip disk (2 per cent) and arthritis (1.5 per cent) are the diseases that are mostly suffered by corporate employees.

According to ASSOCHAM estimates, cases of cardiovascular disease (CVD) may increase from about 3.2 crore in 2012 to as many as 6.4 crore in 2015, and the numbers of deaths from CVD will also more than double.

As per the results, smoking alone is estimated to be responsible for 22 per cent of cardiovascular diseases in industrialized countries, and for the vast majority of some cancers and chronic respiratory diseases. Eighty percent of coronary heart diseases, 90 percent of type II diabetes and one-third of cancers can be prevented by maintaining proper diets, increasing exercise and stop smoking, adds the survey.

“Overweight and obesity are important risk factors for cardiovascular disease, which is the number one cause of death and accounts for deaths every year. This is due to a number of factors, including a global shift in diet towards increased energy, fat, salt and sugar intake, and a trend towards decreased physical activity”, adds the Dr. Rao.

Mr. Rawat further said that taking up corporate wellness program improves chronic and lifestyle diseases of India Inc. The benefits of a workplace wellness program, improve presenteeism, Control/reduces escalating health care costs, improve productivity, increases employee loyalty and reduces attrition rate, employees leading healthy lifestyles tend to take lower sick leaves with improved work performance and increased productivity that reduces overall costs of the organisation.

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