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Insurance Article

Know All About the New Customized Scale to Predict Heart Attacks in India

September 08 2018
Insurance

What you need to know about the new customised scale to predict heart attacks in India

India is a country where heart disease claims more than 1.7 million lives every year. Ischemic heart disease and stroke are estimated to account for 15-20% of all deaths in India. Access to affordable, quality healthcare can lower cardiovascular mortality and stroke-related mortality. Timely medical attention is paramount in such situations, and a cardiovascular scale that can predict risk of heart attacks for Indians is the need of the hour.

Currently, the Framingham cardiovascular risk scale is used in India. However, this scale was developed in the western world and is most suited for the Caucasian population. This is why the Indian hospital giant Apollo Hospitals and Microsoft got together to create such a scale for Indians.

How the Scale Came to Be

Apollo Hospitals collected data from over 4 lakh check-ups over the span of 7 years – from 2010 to 2017, while Microsoft brought in their Artificial Intelligence (AI) network for healthcare. The two combined to work out a 21-point scale that could help doctors predict the risk for heart disease in a patient. The system is ‘intelligent’ and can predict the risk of disease with up to 67% accuracy, using a combination of clinical expertise and AI. This is much better than the Framingham scale which only provided a 31% accuracy for Indians.

How the Scale Works

Cardiovascular risk scales consider a patient’s family history and their blood parameters while calculating the risk. A patient’s weight, smoking habits, cholesterol counts, and maximum blood pressure are all important factors taken into consideration while calculating risk. However, the new Indian risk scale considers many other factors as well, more suited to calculate the risk of heart disease in an Indian body system.

For example, the normally used Western scales focus greatly on weight and height as Caucasians are generally taller and heftier than Indians. The Indian scale does not give as much importance to these. Another factor that Western scales focus greatly on in the LDL (bad cholesterol). This factor isn’t as important in Indians either.

Moreover, tobacco use as a whole is considered by the new Indian scale, rather than just smoking as is considered by the Western scales. Additionally, diastolic blood pressure and physical activity are important factors considered for Indians to measure their risk of disease, which is not so important in the Western scale.

Importance of Health Insurance

Treating heart disease can be quite expensive, and really burn a hole through your pocket. This is where having a health insurance cover comes in handy and can save your hard-earned money from being consumed by hospital expenses. A little research online will tell you everything you need to know about getting yourself a policy. Compare premiums and read the policy document thoroughly before you purchase, to find the health insurance policy best suited for your needs.

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