While the negative impact of stress upon health is being widely emphasised to raise awareness, a report by ICICI Lombard has revealed that 64 percent of cardiologists feel that stress is the main cause of cardiovascular ailments.
Moreover, 68 percent of doctors contend that any age group could be vulnerable to heart disease, it said.
Financial issues, relationships, job, health problems, societal pressures – the list of things in life that cause us stress are endless, but the fact remains that we are always under pressure, which can lead to further health problems, sometimes even death.
The study steers off the traditional path by contradicting popular belief that improper diet and lack of exercise are responsible for heart disease.
The study, which was conducted among 50 cardiologists, also revealed that age was not a determining factor with 68 percent of doctors contending that any age group could be vulnerable to heart disease.
Generally, people think that the 41-50 age group is most susceptible to cardiac ailments.
Among other findings, 74 percent of doctors said heart disease could affect people with any body type, while most people thought only the overweight were vulnerable.
Cardiologists said 'high cholesterol' foods were the primary cause of heart disease, and not oily and fatty foods as people would think.
According to doctors, extreme fatigue in males and chest pain in females are the symptoms to look out for in a possible heart attack.
The cardiologists are unanimous in their view that those who exercise regularly are less vulnerable to heart disease, though 86 percent said men were more susceptible than women, it noted.
Interestingly, the doctors more or less concurred that residents of Mumbai and Delhi were more prone to cardiac conditions than their counterparts in other cities-underscoring the fact that stress brought on by a hectic lifestyle was chiefly responsible for heart disease.
"The growing incidence of heart disease among the young and middle-aged is a wake-up call for people to take charge of their health by making small changes in their day-to-day habits and lessen the risk of heart ailments," said Sanjay Datta, chief-underwriting claims and reinsurance, ICICI Lombard.
Among other findings, the report said 62 percent of cardiologists believe 20-25 years to be the ideal age for buying health insurance and an average coverage of Rs 4.15 lakh for heart-related diseases.