India bears the burden of nearly 60% of the world’s heart disease cases while representing less than 20% of the global population, as stated by public health data. Furthermore, younger individuals face escalating obesity and hypertension rates, putting them at risk for early-onset heart disease. In India, half of all heart attacks in men occur before age 50, and a quarter before age 40. Women also experience high mortality rates due to heart disease.
Unhealthy habits, sedentary lifestyles, obesity, and smoking are among the primary causes of heart conditions in young Indians. In addition to diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol, another independent risk factor for heart disease is elevated blood homocysteine levels. Dr. Sameer Gupta, an Interventional Cardiologist and Head of Cardiology for the Metro Group of Hospitals, elaborates on the significance of homocysteine testing in heart disease risk assessment.
Tata 1mg Labs recently published an analysis of data from 4609 homocysteine tests performed in Mumbai during the last two years. The study found that 87.57% of the individuals tested exhibited higher-than-normal homocysteine levels, increasing their susceptibility to heart-related issues like blood clots, heart attacks, and strokes. Notably, women performed better than men, with only 36.84% having elevated homocysteine levels compared to 62.93% of men.
Dr. Gupta emphasizes the necessity of considering homocysteine levels alongside other risk factors and patient demographics. Although elevated homocysteine levels indicate a higher risk, there is no definitive proof that lowering homococysteine levels will decrease heart disease risk. However, regular heart health assessments and early detection of heart conditions are vital for prompt treatment and improved health outcomes.