Hoshiarpur-born doctor is head of US cardiology body

May 16th, 2008 - 10:58 am ICT by admin  

New York, May 16 (IANS) An Indian American has taken over as president of the American Society of Geriatric Cardiology, becoming the first Asian to head the 22-year-old organisation based in Washington DC. Navin C. Nanda, 65, professor of medicine and director of the Heart Station / Echocardiography Laboratories at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, intends to take initiatives during his one-year term to fulfil the society’s mission to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease in older people and improve the care of older adults with cardiovascular disease.

Talking to IANS about his priorities, he said: “We will strive to get geriatric cardiology introduced in medical schools. For the purpose, the society will partner with the American College of Cardiology to develop a core curriculum for training in geriatric cardiology.”

He pointed out that currently only a small percentage of the practising physicians in the US have received training and education in geriatrics, which is necessary to provide older patients with the best possible care.

Since people are living longer, almost 60-70 percent cardiac problem patients in the US are older, Nanda said, and they need different types of treatment and care than younger people.

Medical practices for the aged are also changing. “For example, surgeons were earlier afraid to do heart valve replacement for older patients, but now it is routinely done,” said Nanda, whose specialisation is non-invasive cardiac care.

He said the society plans to have a “Legislative Day” in July in Washington DC to meet Congressmen for creating a National Centre for Ageing Heart Health. The centre would serve as a think tank and national resource as well as provide training programmes and educational opportunities. It would also create a data bank for methods of treatment and care techniques imperative for an ageing population.

The new president’s agenda includes initiating research into the effects of ageing on cardiovascular structure and the impact of ageing on cardiovascular disease. The society will run a campaign using all the major media to disseminate information to the public.

The society will also develop public policies to foster and maintain cardiovascular fitness and health at an older age, and ensure appropriate care for older persons in terminal states of cardiovascular disease, collaborating with similar bodies in Europe, Latin America and Asia.

Nanda pointed out that India also has a large ageing population. “Considering the huge overall population in India, the number of those above 65 is also very large,” he said.

Nanda is the founding president of the American Association of Cardiologists of Indian Origin and past president of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI).

Hailing from Hoshiarpur in Punjab, Nanda trained in cardiology at the National Heart Hospital in London and the University of Rochester in New York.

The not-for-profit Society of Geriatric Cardiology was founded in 1986 by research and clinical cardiologists to address problems stemming from cardiovascular diseases in the increasing numbers of ageing men and women in the US and throughout the world.

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