Public health data shows that India bears an immense load of heart disease, accounting for 60% of cases globally, despite having less than 20% of the world’s population. Furthermore, younger people in India face growing obesity and hypertension rates, placing them at risk for early-onset heart disease. In India, 50% of all heart attacks in men happen before age 50, and 25% before age 40. Women are not exempt, with high mortality rates from heart disease.
Numerous lifestyle factors contribute to the development of heart conditions in young Indians, including unhealthy habits, lack of physical activity, obesity, and smoking. Besides diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol, another lesser-known independent risk factor for heart disease is high blood homocysteine levels. Dr. Sameer Gupta, an Interventional Cardiologist and Head of Cardiology for the Metro Group of Hospitals, explains the significance of homocysteine testing in assessing heart disease risk.
Tata 1mg Labs recently examined data from 4609 homocysteine tests conducted in Mumbai over the past two years. The study revealed that a striking 87.57% of the tested individuals had higher-than-normal homocysteine levels, increasing their vulnerability to heart complications such as blood clots, heart attacks, and strokes. Interestingly, women displayed better results than men, with only 36.84% having elevated homocysteine levels compared to 62.93% of men.
Dr. Gupta highlights the necessity of evaluating homocysteine levels in conjunction with other risk factors and patient information. While high homocysteine levels are associated with increased risk, there is no definitive data showing that lowering homocysteine levels will reduce heart disease risk. However, regular heart health screenings and early detection of heart conditions remain crucial for timely intervention and better health outcomes.