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Dr K K Aggarwal

Normal Aging Changes

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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  • Heart rate shows less variability.
  • There is altered circadian pattern (24–hour cycle of the body).
  • There is a delayed response of bone marrow to loss of blood or hypoxia (reduced oxygen).
  • The function of the white blood cells is impaired.
  • Advancing age is a procoagulant stage. This means that the blood gets clotted easily.
  • Reflux of the stomach acid in the food pipe is common.
  • Tendency to constipation is common.
  • Painkillers can quite easily cause ulcers in the stomach.
  • Renal functions decline with age.
  • Older kidney is more prone to be damaged with painkillers.
  • Calcification of heart valves may occur.
  • The maximum heart rate may not reach the level as that in the young age in response to exercise.
  • About one–third of the lung volume may be lost.
  • Aging slows the rate of fracture repair.
  • Skin may become atrophic (thin) and elasticity is reduced.
  • A person may not be able to read small print.
  • There may be impaired speech recognition in noisy environment.
  • There may be loss of taste.
  • There may be loss of smell.
  • There may be high frequency hearing loss.
  • Immunity may be reduced.
  • With age, one is more prone to get urinary tract infection.
  • With age, ejaculation may get impaired.

Always Respect Others Viewpoints

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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It is an old saying that one is proud of his or her own intelligence and somebody else’s partner and wealth. Most disputes occur when there is an ego clash and this occurs when you want your point of view to be noticed by everybody. But remember that for every situation, invariably, there will be multiple opinions.

In one of my meetings, I asked my lifestyle students–cum–colleagues to imagine Rahul Gandhi as the Prime Minister of the country. Following were the views of various people:

  • He is too young.
  • He is immature.
  • He is childish.
  • It will be failure of democracy
  • He has no political will
  • He has no strength for taking decisions
  • He has no experience.
  • He is open–minded.
  • He will bring youth to politics.
  • He has an experienced team behind him.
  • He will bring a new approach to politics etc. etc.

The message is very clear that everybody has their own perception and we should learn to respect that.

Vitamin D intake associated with reduced risk for Crohn’s disease

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Increased intake of vitamin D may significantly reduce the risk for Crohn’s disease (CD) in women, according to an article published online December 12 and in the March issue of the journal Gastroenterology.

  • This study involved 72,719 women who returned the 1986 questionnaire. They had data on both vitamin D intake and physical activity and did not have a history of CD or ulcerative colitis (UC).
  • Diagnosis of CD was based on a typical history of 4 weeks or longer and was confirmed by radiologic, endoscopic, or surgical evaluation.
  • The diagnosis of UC was based on typical clinical presentation of 4 weeks or more and endoscopic, radiologic, or surgical evaluation.
  • Mean age of the participants at baseline was 53 years, mean body mass index (BMI) was 25.4 kg/m2, mean physical activity was 13.2 metabolic hours per week, 94.5% were white and 36.6% never smoked.
  • A documented 122 cases of CD and 123 cases of UC were recorded during 1,492,811 person–years of follow–up. The median predicted 25(OH)D level was 27.6 ng/mL.
  • Women in the lowest quartile of predicted 25(OH)D level compared with those in the highest quartile had a higher body mass index, were less active, tended to reside in the Northern or Midwestern regions of the United States, and had lower intake levels of dietary or supplemental vitamin D. The median age of diagnosis of CD was 64.0 years; for UC, it was 63.5 years.
  • The median interval between assessment of plasma 25(OH) D levels and disease diagnosis was 12 years for UC and 10 years for CD.
  • For every 1 ng/mL increase in predicted 25(OH)D level, the risk for CD was reduced by 6%.
  • For UC, there was also a reduction in risk, but it was non-significant at 4%.
  • Women in the highest two quartiles of 25(OH)D levels had multivariate HRs of 0.50 and 0.55, respectively, for CD.
  • Each 100 IU/day increase in total intake resulted in a 10% reduction in UC risk and a 7% reduction in CD risk.
  • For vitamin D intake from diet and supplements based on quartile distribution, there was a significant linear inverse trend for vitamin D intake and UC risk, but this trend was weaker for CD.
  • Intakes of 800 IU/day or higher resulted in greater reductions in the risks for UC and CD.
  • Vitamin D intake was inversely associated with the risks for CD and UC, vitamin D insufficiency or deficiency was an important mediator in the pathogenesis of UC and CD, and assessment of vitamin D status should be a part of the assessment of inflammatory bowel diseases.

Science behind Ganesha worshipScience behind Ganesha worship

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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While mythological studies knit stories of the Almighty’s existence, the fact remains that human being is bestowed with the untainted potential of recognizing heavenly facets in his own self.

Ganesha, the son of Shiva and Parvati is likewise the name given to the harmonious Aacharan or characteristic disposition of man. Remembered and ritually worshiped before starting a new venture, the entity of Ganesha has in store the facets of a complete man.

The magnanimous head of the Ganesha, which is that of an elephant, represents wisdom, intelligence and a healthy mind capable of making sound decisions. Not in vain is it said that ‘think before you speak’, which implies Ganesha’s huge head, that is identified with the need for a thoughtful and retrospective attitude.

The big ears of this elephant–deity instills among the earthly man the patient channel of lending ears to the echo produced by others’ deeds and speech. It is said that half the dispute is resolved when an ear is lend most patiently.

Ganesha or the Ganapati’s extremely small mouth characteristically represents the need for a limited dialogue and the vanity of chattering. Over–expression through words triggers unsought problems many a times which otherwise could be avoided by a tight–lip.

Ganesha also represents the guru of stress affected individuals. Shiva’s most promising son, Ganesha, by virtue of his small eyes, highlights the need of a focused outlook in life. Such an outlook not only redefines and foresees the right goals, but also relieves one from the stress-manifested episodes from the various chapters of life.

The long trunk identifies with the power of discrimination. The sensitivity of the Ganesha long nose has the strength to uproot a tree and the competency of picking up a pin from the ground. Such should be the approach of an individual who should be capable enough to perceive the good and the bad for himself besides the undaunted strength of overcoming all odds.

The tusks and the small teeth of Ganesha should however, be recollected with the loss and gains in the life of a man. Man similarly ought to engrave his mental stature in such a manner that the ups and downs may not deter him from his honest endeavor and the balance of inevitable bliss and sorrow is maintained to add spice in the earthly existences. This stable healthy mental stature is only possible if the physical, social, spiritual and environmental requirements of the body are fulfilled. For the needful, individuals need to be bestowed upon a complete mental and physical health.

Further the big tummy of Ganapati Deva preaches the need for retaining information. Acquiring knowledge, utilizing it and retaining it for years to come, becomes the crux of ‘big–belly commandment’.

The Char–Bhuja Dhari Ganesha, further represents strength by virtue of the four hands in which the Lord entraps his attachments, desires and greed. Two of the arms of Ganesha, which hold rope, symbolize control over the attachments. The laddo or sweet in the other two shows command over the desires and earthly delusion. The mouse sitting near the feet of Ganesha represents greed and gluttony upon which the Almighty rides, propagating a control over the evils.

Ganesha’s physical traits are an assembly of the characteristics most required in an individual of substance. Disposition incarnated with the goodness of such features will result in success in life and will positively procure an ailment–free survival.

Specifically for executives, Ganesha’s characteristic principles may be incorporated in a time–table format which will help in the dawn of a conformable work–atmosphere along with congenial relationship between the management and the union of workers. Deciding the first day of the week to hear all grievance and woes of the workers, the second for thinking and planning strategies to work upon and finally setting targets to be achieved may utilize three days of the week very constructively. Further a day devoted to evaluating losses and gains (Ganesha’s teeth principle) may help additionally in business management. Retaining the information and filing all the pending work can affirmatively call upon the fifth day of the week, which works entirely on the principle of Ganesha’s tummy, which is massive by the virtue of holding tremendous loads of information. Contemplation, discrimination and judging the good and the bad for the entire unit may take another day, leaving the Sunday for self–retrospection through meditation and yoga. One should strive and adopt Ganpati Bappa Maurya’s principles of life management rather than worshiping him with vanity. Life has much in store besides bothering about unnecessary qualms. Giving into a disciplined attitude may assuredly dawn upon a peaceful life. Heaven is where you are, it’s only a matter of perception which makes life as difficult as hell.

FODMAPS free diet

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Symptoms of IBS and inflammatory bowel disease may be at least in part related to impaired absorption of carbohydrates.

Fermentable oligo–, di– and monosaccharides and polyols (FODMAPs) in patients with IBS or IBD may enter the distal small bowel and colon where they are fermented, leading to symptoms and increased intestinal permeability (and possibly inflammation).

Examples of FODMAPs include:

  • Fructans or inulins (wheat, onions, garlic, and artichokes)
  • Galactans (beans, lentils, legumes, cabbage, and Brussels’ sprouts)
  • Lactose (dairy)
  • Fructose (fruits, honey, high fructose corn syrup)
  • Sorbitol
  • Xylitol
  • Mannitol
  • Polyols (sweeteners containing sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol, maltitol, stone fruits such as avocado, apricots, cherries, nectarines, peaches, plums)

Avoidance of carbohydrates has been a long–popularized non–pharmacologic approach to reducing symptoms in IBS (and possibly modifying disease in IBD).

Ganesha, the Stress Management Guru

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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If Lord Krishna was the first counselor who taught the principles of counseling, Lord Ganesha taught us the principles of stress management.

We should worship Lord Ganesha and become like him whenever we face any difficulty or are stressed out.

The elephant head of Lord Ganesha symbolizes that when in difficulty, use your wisdom, intelligence and think differently. It can be equated to the Third Eye of Lord Shiva. Elephant is supposed to be the most intelligent animal in the kingdom. Here, wisdom means to think before speaking. Lord Buddha also said that don’t speak unless it is necessary and is truthful and kind.

The big elephant ears of Lord Ganesha signify listening to everybody when in difficulty. Elephant ears are known to hear long distances. Elephant eye see a long distance and in terms of mythology, it represents acquiring the quality of foreseeing when in difficulty. The mouth of Lord Ganesha represents speaking less and hearing and listening more.

The big tummy of Lord Ganesha represents digesting any information gathered by listening to people in difficulty. The trunk denotes using the power of discrimination to decide from the retained information. It also indicates doing both smaller and bigger things by yourself. The elephant trunk can pick up a needle as well as a tree.

The teeth, broken and unbroken, signify to be in a state of balance in loss and gain. This implies that one should not get upset if the task is not accomplished and also not get excited if the task is accomplished. In times of difficulty, Ganesha also teaches us not to lose strength and control one’s attachments, desires and greed.

The four arms of Lord Ganesha represent strength. Ropes in two hands indicate attachment; Laddoo or Sweet in one hand represent desires and mouse represents greed. Riding over the mouse indicates controlling one’s greed.

Lord Ganesha is worshipped either when a new work is initiated or when one finds it difficult to complete a job or work. In these two situations, these principles of Lord Ganesha need to be inculcated in one’s habits.

Travel more than doubles risk of blood clots

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Long distance travelers periodically should move around and stretch their legs instead of just sitting and also drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.

Long–distance travel can lead to potentially fatal blood clots in some people and the risk grows with the length of the trip. Those at increased risk of blood clots include cancer patients, people who have recently had major surgery such as a joint replacement, and women on birth control pills.

In general, travel is associated with a nearly three–fold increase in the risk of venous thromboembolism (blood clots that form in the veins), often in the legs. If such a clot dislodges and travels to the lungs, it can cause a potentially fatal condition called pulmonary embolism.

A combination of factors including dehydration and hours of sitting in cramped conditions explains why some people develop blood clots.

A review published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, analyzed 14 studies involving more than 4,000 cases of venous thromboembolism and found that travelers had a nearly three–fold higher risk of blood clots than non–travelers. The risk climbed along with the duration of the trip, rising 18 percent for every two hours of any type of travel, and by 26 percent for every two hours of air travel.

But there is no reason for panic, because the absolute risk to any one traveler is still low. People who travel long distances should be aware of the risk of blood clots and learn to recognize the symptoms. Symptoms of a blood clot in the leg include pain, warmth, swelling and redness in the limb. If the clot travels to the lungs, it may cause sudden shortness of breath, chest pain or a cough that produces blood.

Think Differently In Mythology

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Is the only spiritual mantra taught in mythology? Here are a few examples

  • Lord Ganesha with the elephant’s head depicts that one should use their wisdom before taking any decision.
  • Vishnu’s first incarnation, fish, symbolizes learning to swim in the opposite direction.
  • Brahma’s five heads mean to use all your five senses before taking any decision.
  • Shiva’s third eye means to think differently in difficulties.
  • Ravan’s ten heads mean using your ten senses before taking any decision. But, Ravan used them for negative forces.
  • Maha Mrityunjaya mantra begins as we worship the three–eyed Shiva.
  • Gayatri mantra means that one should ask the heart to direct the intellect to take the right decision. The 3H philosophy is linked to the same. The first H is ask the head for options; second H is to ask the heart to choose one of the options and the third H means to order the hand to do the action

Heart risks detected by age 7 in overweight kids

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Children at risk of future obesity should be examined for body mass index rebound.

BMI rebound is the age at which body mass index (BMI) reaches its lowest point before increasing through later childhood, adolescence and adulthood.

An earlier BMI rebound age is associated with adverse risk factors for heart disease as measured at age 7: higher BMI, higher systolic and diastolic blood pressures, higher serum insulin and leptin levels, higher left ventricular mass and left atrial size.

Early BMI rebound age for children is lower than 4.4 years for boys and 4.2 years for girls. Normal values are 4.4 to 6.6 years for boys and 4.2 to 5.7 years for girls.

All children who start gaining weight between 3–4 years should be classified as a high risk for future diabetes and heart disease.

Inspirational Story

Let the Light Shine

Bill was driving home one evening, on a two–lane country road. Work, in this small Midwestern community, was almost as slow as his beat–up Pontiac, but he never quit looking. Ever since the factory closed, he’d been unemployed, and with winter raging on, the chill had finally hit home.

It was a lonely road. Not very many people had a reason to be on it, unless they were leaving. Most of his friends had already left. They had families to feed and dreams to fulfill, but he stayed on.

After all, this was where he buried his mother and father. He was born here and knew the country. He could go down this road blind, and tell you what was on each side, and with his headlights not working, that came in handy.

It was starting to get dark and light snow flurries were coming down. He’d better get a move on. You know, he almost didn’t see the old lady, stranded on the side of the road. But even in the dim light of day, he could see she needed help.

So he pulled up in front of her Mercedes and got out. His Pontiac was still sputtering when he approached her. Even with the smile on his face, she was worried. No one had stopped to help for the last hour or so. Was he going to hurt her? He didn’t look safe, he looked poor and hungry.

He could see that she was frightened, standing out there in the cold. He knew how she felt. It was that chill that only fear can put in you. He said, “I’m here to help you ma’am. Why don’t you wait in the car where it’s warm? By the way, my name is Bill.” Well, all she had was a flat tire, but for an old lady, that was bad enough. Bill crawled under the car looking for a place to put the jack, skinning his knuckles a time or two. Soon he was able to change the tire, but he had to get dirty and his hands hurt.

As he was tightening up the lug nuts, she rolled down her window and began to talk to him. She told him that she was from St. Louis and was only just passing through. She couldn’t thank him enough for coming to her aid.

Bill just smiled as he closed her trunk. She asked him how much she owed him. Any amount would have been all right with her. She had already imagined all the awful things that could have happened had he not stopped.

Bill never thought twice about the money. This was not a job to him. This was helping someone in need, and God knows there were plenty who had given him a hand in the past. He had lived his whole life that way, and it never occurred to him to act any other way.

He told her that if she really wanted to pay him back, the next time she someone who needed help, she could give that person the assistance that they needed, and Bill added “…and think of me”. He waited until she started her car and drove off. It had been a cold and depressing day, but he felt good as he headed for home, disappearing into the twilight.

A few miles down the road the lady saw a small cafe. She went in to grab a bite to eat, and take the chill off before she made the last leg of her trip home. It was a dingy looking restaurant. Outside were two old gas pumps. The whole scene was unfamiliar to her.

The cash register was like the telephone of an out of work actor-it didn’t ring much. Her waitress came over and brought a clean towel to wipe her wet hair. She had a sweet smile, one that even being on her feet for the whole day couldn’t erase.

The lady noticed that the waitress was nearly eight months pregnant, but she never let the strain and aches change her attitude. The old lady wondered how someone who had so little could be so giving to a stranger. Then she remembered Bill.

After the lady finished her meal and the waitress went to get her change from a hundred dollar bill, the lady slipped right out the door. She was gone by the time the waitress came back. She wondered where the lady could be, and then she noticed something written on a napkin.

There were tears in her eyes, when she read what the lady wrote. It said, “You don’t owe me a thing, I’ve been there too. Someone once helped me out, the way I’m helping you. If you really want to pay me back, here’s what you do… “Don’t let the chain of love end with you.” Well, there were tables to clear, sugar bowls to fill, and people to serve, but the waitress made it through another day.

That night when she got home from work and climbed into bed, she was thinking about the money and what the lady had written. How could she have known how much she and her husband needed it? With the baby due next month, it was going to be hard. She knew how worried her husband was, and as he lay sleeping next to her, she gave him a soft kiss and whispered in a soft, and low voice, “Everything’s going to be all right; I love you Bill.”

Spiritual prescriptions learnt from patients

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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In a hospital practice, we all are a witness to suffering all the time. When we were young, in medical college, we quite often were disturbed seeing the sufferings of the people. But, in our practice, we have learnt many spiritual prescriptions from our patients. These have not only helped us to heal our patients but also changed our perception to health and sickness. I recall Swami Bodhanand, a disciple of Swami Chinmayananda, was once admitted with us. When I asked him to give me a spiritual message, he told me only two words “Detached Attachment”. He said, “As a doctor you should behave like a lotus leaf. It is wet as long as a drop of water is there, but once the drop is out, the leaf is as dry as if the water was never there.” The message was that “we should be attached to our patients as long as they are with us. The day they die, we should be completely detached from them or else we will not be able to treat other patients”. I saw another spiritual guru through our Chief Anesthetist. The fee he paid to me was a spiritual message “Suno Samjho Jano Karo – Hear Understand Wisdom and Doing”. He said that hearing is different from listening, listening is different from wisdom and wisdom is different from doing. Unless you hear, understand what you have heard and implement, the learning has no value. One of my Buddhist patients gave me a spiritual learning, which has helped me a lot in my routine clinical practice. He taught me the basic Buddhist message that there is suffering all over; there is a reason for every suffering and it is possible to maintain sufferings. This message fits into the main message of Hinduism and also the main teaching from Garud Purana. In Hinduism, we know that the very fact that we are born in this life means that in our last life, we could not get liberation as Hinduism believes that after liberation you are not reborn. Not getting liberated in the last birth means that some sufferings were left in our life. The basic purpose of this birth, therefore, is to face sufferings. When the basic purpose of our birth is to face sufferings, then why suffer from these sufferings. Every time we suffer, we should thank God that he has reduced one more. The period in between two sufferings is called a Happy period (Sukh). In fact that period is nothing but a period of rest given by God to us to prepare the body for next suffering. This as a concept of counseling helps my patients in managing most of their mental disturbances. Sometimes not telling a patient that he is suffering from terminal cancer works. One of my patient’s father aged 83 years was found to have extensive cancer of the prostate. Medically, we all gave him three months’ to live. My patient had no guts to tell his father or the family members that he (the father) had extensive cancer. He took me into confidence and played a game with the family. We gathered all the family members and told them that with the surgery this cancer had been cured. A party was organized in the evening to celebrate the cure. The magic happened; he lived almost a symptom–free life for the next 9 years. I have tried this on many of my patients thereafter and it works. The probable explanation was loss of fear of death, a confidence in his doctor and faith in himself. The way to live up to the age of hundred is to go on working in life. My great grand–father–in–law was 75 years old, when I got married. That year, he gathered all family members across the world and said that his purpose of life was over and, he would like a collective family photograph and like to quit the world. Nothing happened for a year and on 20th July next year, he again played behaved the same way. Family from across the world gathered but he remained alive for another year. This went on for three years. Suddenly, we played a spiritual trick on him and told everyone to convince him that he is going to live for 100 years as he has many more work of the family to be done. Every year, we gave him law students from within the family to be taught (he was a lawyer himself), or gave him the responsibility of finding a boy for some eligible girl in the family. We made him teach and search for the bride for years together and he actually died at the age of 100 years. That is the beauty of positive attitude in life.

Carbohydrates as substitute to saturated fats not the answer

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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More than 20 prospective studies have addressed components of diet and the risk of heart disease.

The type of fat consumed appears to be more important than the amount of total fat.

Trans fatty acids increase risk of heart disease while polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats decrease risk.

There is a controversy about whether it is optimal to substitute saturated fats with carbohydrates. An increase in carbohydrate tends to reduce the level of good high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol in addition to total and low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Thus, the reduction in heart disease risk may be less than predicted by the reduction of saturated fat alone.

Observational studies have consistently shown that individuals consuming diets high in vegetables and fruits, which are rich in antioxidant vitamins, had a reduced risk of heart disease.

Results of a number of randomized trials are now available and show largely no significant clinical benefits of antioxidant vitamins on heart disease.

Supplemental vitamin C, E, and beta carotene cannot be recommended in the primary prevention of CHD.

Taking supplements without clinical benefits could, in theory, increase the risk if individuals mistakenly avoid therapeutic lifestyle changes or drug therapies with proven benefits.

Do not give health advice unless you are an expert

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Once a foreigner visited India and when he returned back, somebody asked him to tell three things about India. He said – All time is tea time; all behave like doctors and every street wall can be used as a urinal. Out of these three, the second one is very important and must be understood by all of us. In India, every person behaves like a doctor and is ready to give an advice.

In the West, when a person is sick, nobody is supposed to visit him or her except for close relatives, but in India, not visiting a sick person is considered bad manners.

Everybody who visits, comes with an advice; an advice to change the doctor, hospital or the pathy. They start giving examples of their experiences and try to influence the patient and the family. Neem Hakeem Khatraye Jaan is an old saying. No two patients are same and no two diseases behave in the same direction.

Changing medicines or pathy can be dangerous. When you go to another doctor for a second opinion, by default he or she has to disagree with the previous doctor, even if they do not need to. If they cannot find anything wrong in the prescription of the previous doctor, they will change the brand of the drugs or do minor modifications in the medicine.

In judicial practice, when you seek a review of judgment, you always file review petition in front of the same judge. Why can’t the same thing apply to medical science? If you are not satisfied with a doctor, go back to him and ask him to review you again as a fresh case.

Also in judicial system, if you are not satisfied with the judgment, you do not go to single judge bench but a double judge bench. Same thing should happen in medical science. If you are not happy with one doctor, never go to another single doctor but ask for a joint opinion with two specialists.

ABO Blood Type is a Risk Factor for Coronary Heart Disease

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Two prospective cohort studies have identified ABO blood group as a risk factor for the development of heart disease. People with blood groups A, B, or AB were 5-23% more likely to develop coronary heart disease compared with those with O blood type. The study by Dr Meian He from Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA included 62 073 women from the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) and 27 428 men from the Health Professionals Follow–up Study (HPFS) and is published in the September 2012 issue of Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology.

In the NHS and HPFS, the incident rates of coronary heart disease per 100 000 person–years were 125, 128, 142, and 161 for women with type O, A, B, and AB, respectively, and 373, 382, 387, and 524 for men with type O, A, B, and AB, respectively. Compared with individuals with O blood type, individuals with blood group A, B, or AB had a respective 5%, 11%, and 23% increased risk of developing coronary heart disease in an age–adjusted model.

In non-O individuals, plasma levels of factor VIII-von Willebrand factor (vWF) are approximately 25% higher than in individuals with type O blood type. Elevated levels of factor VIII–vWF have been previously identified as a risk factor for coronary heart disease. The vWF has an important role in hemostasis and thrombosis by mediating platelet adhesion to the vascular wall, especially under high shear stress conditions.

Collective Consciousness

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Consciousness is an energized field of information with powers to do everything in the universe. Collective consciousness is the internet of the collective souls of many people in a group.

Collective consciousness is the strongest super power ever available in the universe. As per the Vedic texts, whatever is the intent of collective consciousness will become a reality. Scientifically, collective consciousness is based on the principle of critical mass. Vedic literature has shown it to be 1% of the defined population under study.

The origin of the critical mass comes from 100th monkey phenomenon. The story goes as under: long ago in Japan a monkey called Emo used to eat dirty apples that were picked up from the ground everyday. One day by accident the apple fell down in a river, the dirt got washed off and he ate the washed apple. Obviously it tasted delicious. He started washing the apples thereafter every day before eating. His fellow monkeys started following the same. The process of following went on. A time came when the 100th monkey washed the apple and ate it. A strange phenomenon was noticed. All monkeys in and around that state started washing the apple before eating. The no. 100 was the critical mass.

Once this mass is crossed the information will spread like a wild fire and the intent becomes a universal reality. Vedic literature has also shown if 1% of the public of any area meditates together the crime rate of that area goes down. It also talks about the role of critical mass in prayers in achieving miracles.

Thus principle of critical mass is often used in designing and organizing an event. In a movie hall of 1000 people if 10 people clap sitting in different areas everybody will clap. The same is true for hooting of a particular scene. Most politicians use this principle when they organize election rallies. For a gathering of 10000 they need 100 and for a gathering of 1000 people they only need 10 supporters who are suppose to sit in different areas and shout or clap on given directions. Mexican way of hooting or clapping in cricket grounds also follows the same principle. For a ground like Eden Gardens with a capacity of 75,000 people you only require 750 people to control the mood of the people. This is what happened in an incident when the Indian team was hooted out by the sentence “No Ganguli no play, No Dada no play”. If Greg Chappel or Jagmohan Dalmiya had anticipated this, they would have used the same strategy to produce just the opposite result. They could have posted 1500 people (2% of the population) in the stadium shouting pro–Dravid slogans and the end result of the match could have been different.

Most successful leaders used this technology to lead.

Sangat and smoking

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Sewa, Simran and Sangat are the three principles of life as per the most Vedic literature. Even Adi Shankaracharya described Sangat as the main force for living a spiritual life.

Sangat is the company of people you live with. Living in the company of good people makes one good and the reverse is also true.

The same is now being proved in the allopathic context. A new research published in the New England Journal of Medicine has shown that when one person quits smoking, than others are likely to follow. One person quitting can cause a ripple effect, making others more likely to kick the habit.

  1. If your spouse stops smoking, you’re 67 percent less likely to continue smoking.
  2. If your friend kicks the habit, it’s about 36 percent less likely that you’ll be smoking.
  3. When a sibling gives up cigarettes, your risk of smoking decreases by 25 percent.
  4. It drops by 34 percent if a co–worker in a small office quits smoking. It’s sort of like watching dominoes. If one falls, it very quickly causes others to fall.

We should treat people in groups, rather than as individuals. Friends and family need to be involved. If you want to quit, try to get close friends and family to quit as well.

Quitting smoking may have the side benefit of improving social well-being, just as it improves physical health.