News and Views

SASAT organized a population-based screening for CVD risk at Leh, Ladakh, India during August 5th and 10th 2013. This effort was co-sponsored by The Twin Epidemic Group, USA, and Cardio-Renal Society, USA. Forus Health Inc and E-Health (Forus) provided IT support for data collection and digitization. SASAT thanks all the volunteers and team leaders for organizing this great public heath project.

Every six seconds, regardless of age or gender - someone somewhere will die from stroke.

This, however, is more than a public health statistic. These are people, who at one time were someone "sister, brother, wife, husband, daughter, son, partner, mother, father" friend. They did exist and were loved. Behind the numbers are real lives. The World Stroke Organization (WSO) is calling for urgent action to address the silent stroke epidemic by launching the One in Six campaign on World Stroke Day, 29 October. Click here to read more.

News from Consensus Conference Chicago February 18th, 2010

  1. Conference Agenda (Adobe PDF)
  2. Consensus Report (Adobe PDF)
  3. Call to Action (Adobe PDF)

Inauguration of SASAT India in Bangalore, August 2nd, 2008

Professor Jawed Fareed, President, SASAT India and I are delighted to inform you all, that the head quarters of SASAT India are shifted from Chennai to Bangalore. Prof Devi Shetty the Chief Executive Officer of Narayana Hrudayalaya (NH), Bangalore has graciously accepted to lead the professional society as the new president. He is a renowned Cardiothoracic Surgeon, and has built a state-of-the-art heart specialty hospital in Bangalore. Furthermore, Prof. Vijay Kakkar, the first President, SASAT International has established a branch of the Thrombosis Research Institute (TRI) at this campus. Dr. Ananth Rao, the Director of Clinical and Research Laboratories of NH has agreed to serve as the Secretary SASAT India.

The inauguration of SASAT India at Bangalore will be held at NH campus on Saturday the 2nd of August 2008. There will be a half a day symposium on topics of interest. All are welcome to participate in the symposium as well as the inaugural function.

Contaminant in the Recalled Unfractionated Heparin Preparations:
Where is the Problem?

In late January, Baxter Healthcare Corporation voluntarily recalled the following lots of heparin: 107054, 117085, 047056, 097081, 107024, 107064, 107066, 107074, and 107111. These products were labeled as heparin 1000 U/ml in 10 ml vials and heparin 1000 u/ml in 30 ml vials. The reason for this recall was the reported adverse reactions which were associated with the use of these heparin batches. These included abdominal pain, hypotension, burning, chest pain, diarrhea, dizziness, dyspepsia, dyspnea, arrhythmia, flushing, headache, hyperthyroidism, hypoesthesia, increased lacrimation, loss of consciousness, malaise, nausea, palor, palpitation, paraesthesia, pharyngeal edema, restlessness, vomiting, stomach discomfort, tachycardia, thirst, trismus, unresponsiveness to stimuli, and drug ineffectiveness. These adverse reactions were reported in hundreds of patients treated with these heparins in the US. As many as 19 deaths were linked with the use of the recalled heparins. These multiple adverse reactions were later attributed to heparin manufactured by Baxter suppliers using Chinese raw material from SPL Changzhou. Subsequently, Baxter recalled all of the remaining lots and doses of its heparin sodium injection multidose, single dose vials and Hep-lock, heparin flush product. Click here to read more.

Approvel of Dalteparin in cancer VTE

US FDA approves Dalteparin for the management of venous thromboembolism in cancer patients. In a landmark decision, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a new indication for FRAGMIN® (dalteparin sodium injection), for the extended treatment of symptomatic venous thromboembolism (VTE) [proximal deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and/or pulmonary embolism (PE)] to reduce the recurrence of VTE in patients with cancer. This approval is yet another testimony of the crucial role of low molecular weight heparins (LMWHs) in the management of venous thromboembolism. Dalteparin represents the very first LMWH which is approved for this indication. This drug has been tested in several clinical settings where its efficacy in the management of thrmboembolism associated with malignancy has been validated. Click here to read more.

Potential Thrombogenic complications with the Use of
Recombinant Activated Factor VII in Combat Trauma

A recent article by Robert Little, in the Baltimore Sun dated November 19th 2006 titled, "Dangerous Remedy" reports about the use of injectable Factor VII to trauma patients in the battle field and possible serious side effects of such an emergency therapy. There seems to be a great concern in the medical community these days, about the side effects of medical devices and drugs used for in situations other than for which the FDA has given approval. In the abstract posted on this site, some of the prominent scientists and physicians have voiced their views on the subject. Click here to read more.

Hans Klaus Breddin (1928-2006)
A Friend to Remember

Professor Hans Klaus Breddin, former chief of the Division of Angiology, J.W. Goethe University Clinic, Frankfurt, Germany, and world renowned clinician-scientist who was among the pioneers to discover the antithrombotic effects of aspirin and its therapeutic usage in arterial diseases has left a legacy in the use of anticoagulant and antiplatelet drugs in vascular indications. He was among the first who brought the discipline of angiology to its current ranking as a multidisciplinary field with significant impact on medicine and surgery. He was a true leader who contributed to the creation of several scientific societies and institutes. He was a dedicated teacher at all levels and contributed to curricular development in vascular medicine, speciality training, and expert consensus group statements. He has made lifetime contributions in clinical medicine, research, teaching, public service, regulatory issues, and bringing international collaboration among various groups. For over 50 years, Klaus Breddin kept on providing outstanding services to his beloved field of vascular medicine. Click here to read more.

SASAT organized a symposium on "Vascular Disease in South Asia" On June 26th at Lisbon, Portugal along with the International Union of Angiology Meetings. Following individuals participated and presented their work. Prof. Gundu H.R. Rao and Prof. Jawed Fareed Chaired the session.

  - Gundu H. R. Rao, PhD, Professor, U of M, USA
Pediatric Cardiology in India:
  - Dr. Vijayalakshmi, MD, Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiology, Bangalore, India.
Oxidative Stress and Atheorsclerosis:
  - U Cornelli, MD, Italy
Management of Peripheral Vascular Disease:
  - Sateesh Babu MD, Westchester Medical Center, New York, USA
Optiamal Anticoagulation in CPB:
  - Wahi MD, Professor, LUMC, Chicago, USA
Acute Coronary Syndrome: HDL as a therapeutic.
  - Lekha Pathak, MD, Hon Cardiologist to President of India.
  - Jawed Fareed, PhD. Professor, LUMC, Chicago, USA

SASAT has been recognized by the International Union of Angiology as a partner organization in the fight against CVDs. Gundu H.R. Rao, Founder, CEO of SASAT will represent the organization in IUA meetings.

The Minister of Science of Technology of India, Mr. Kapil Sibal was the honored guest at a reception organized by the Illinois Chapter of the Association of Scientists of Indian Origin (ASIO). This meeting was organized by Dr. Pandey of the University of Illinois Institute of Psychiatry. The Minister gave and invited discussion on the future plans to promote scientific activities and international collaboration between scientists in India and living abroad. A text of this discussion is available through Dr. Pandey The Minister was very enthusiastic about developing stronger ties with scientists of Indian origin and provided briefings about several platforms available for collaboration.

Dr. Fareed, the current president of SASAT International is happy to report that he has informed the honorable Minister of the coming meeting of SASAT 2006 in Bangalore, India. A formal invitation to the Minister will be sent by Dr. Gundu Rao, CEO of SASAT to the Minister to participate in this meeting. The scientists of Indian origin are grateful to the Minister for his time and enthusiasm in fostering international collaboration.

Indian American Council (IAC)

According to San Pitroda, the chairman of IAC, the objective of this organization is to tap "the emotional quotient" of Indian Americans and help structure their connection and engagement with India

Tarun Das, who accompanied Mr Kapil Sibal, Indian Minister for Science and Technology, recently to the US, says that IAC is essentially a delivery system. He illustrates this with an example. IAC wrote letters to Vice- chancellors of Universities in India, asking them as to how IAC members can help them. Fifty of them wrote back; we would like them to come and speak to our faculty and students. Indian Americans go to India every year for vacation, we are going to connect them to the Universities and Institutions, where they can go and spend some time, says Mr. Das. This is only one of the many projects of IAC.

For those of us, who want to do something for the country and do not know how, here is a wonderful platform to bridge that gap. For additional information on IAC visit their web site and become members:

Heart Specialty Hospitals in India

Narayana Hrudayalaya, Bangalore

Narayana Hrudayalaya (NH) Heart Hospital: Cardiac Care for the Poor. Founded by Dr. Devi Prasad Shetty, NH has grown rapidly in five years to house 500 beds, 10 fully commissioned operating theaters, tow cardiac catheterization laboratories with its own blood bank and valve banks. The pediatric intensive therapy unit with 50 beds is one of the largest in the world. Professor Gundu Rao of University of Minnesota, introduced an NGO (Children's Heart Link) from Minneapolis to NH several years ago and the relationship between the two organizations has resulted in good synergy, to develop some of the pediatric programs at NH. Since opening the hospital has performed over 12, 000 open heart surgeries, half of which are pediatric. Professor Gundu Rao has selected NH as a center of excellence for Pediatric cardiology and surgery mentoring for the medical students at University of Minnesota. University of Minnesota international program has selected Professor Devi Shetty as a mentor and Professor of International Health. Prof. Shetty has a great vision to serve the people. He is expanding the campus to build a Health City with its own knowledge center capable of doing basic and applied medical research and development.

Sri Jayadeva Institute, Bangalore

Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiology(SJIC) is one of the largest post-graduate teaching institutes in Asia. Since opening it has served as a center of excellence in cardiology. Professor Gundu Rao of University of Minnesota has selected this campus as a center of excellence for training and mentoring of medical students from the University of Minnesota.

Prof. Gundu Rao also introduced Children's Heart Link of Minnesota to this institution. This NGO from Minneapolis has performed several invasive procedures on children at this center. SJIC is the host for the 7th international symposium on Atherosclerosis and Thrombosis organized by South Asian Society on Atherosclerosis and Thrombosis (SASAT).

Care Heart Hospital, Hyderabad

Care Heart Hospital and Research Center is one of the largest heart specialty hospital in Hyderabad. Under the able leadership of Dr. Somaraju, it has grown tremendously in the last few years. Dr. Somaraju and Dr. Kalam, the president of India, have developed a Raju-Kalam heart stent, which is under going clinical studies. Care Heart Hospital sponsored the 6th international symposium of SASAT in 2004 in Hyderabad. Dr. Somaraju had organized a one hour video conference with the president of India.

Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Research Institute, Chennai
M.V.Diabetes Specialities Center, Chennai

These two institutions have played a major role in the early diagnosis and prevention of diabetes and coronary artery disease. Both have served as head quarters for SASAT India. SASAT 2004 was organized at the Ramachandra Medical College campus by Prof. S. Thanikachalam and his associates. Madras Diabetes Research Foundation (MDRF) also has organized one day symposium of SASAT at Chennai (1999). MDRF sponsors the annual Jerome Markovitz award for outstanding scientists in the area of vascular biology.

Escorts Heart Hospital and Research Institute, New Delhi

This is one of the premier heart specialty hospital in the country. Naresh Trehan a US trained cardiac surgeon has devoted his entire life to build this institution to a state-of-the-art heart hospital. Professor Gundu Rao of University of Minnesota has selected this institute as a center of excellence of training and mentoring medical students from the University of Minnesota. Escorts Heart Institute hosted the Third International symposium of SASAT in New Delhi, in 1998. Prof. M.L. Bhatia, the medical Director, Escorts Heart Institute, served as the first President of SASAT, India.


Professor N. K. Ganguly, Director General, Indian Counicil of Medical Research (equivalent of NIH, USA) New Delhi, India, made a brief visit to the School of Public Health, University of Minnesota (U of M), in early May, 2006. During his brief visit to U of M, he met Professor Gundu H. R. Rao, Secreatary General of South Asian Society on Atherosclerosis and Thrombosis (SASAT) and discussed topics of mutual interest. Professor Gundu Rao, on behalf of the Executive Board of SASAT, extended an invitation to Dr. Ganguly for the 7th International conference on "Atherosclerosis and Thrombosis" in Bangalore, India (October 13-15, 2006).


During a recent visit to India Dr Gundu H.R. Rao, CEO SASAT met with Prof. Devi Shetty, CEO Narayana Hrudayalaya (NH), Bangalore. We are pleased to announce that Prof. Shetty has requested Prof. Gundu Rao to head a research team at NH, in the area of Vascular Biology. As a part of this program Prof. Gundu Rao will be initiating studies on risk profiling for heart attacks and stroke.


Global Risk Assessment for Coronay Artery Disease (CAD)

South Asians (Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis and Sri Lankans) have the highest incidence of CAD compared to any other ethnic group in the world. It is estimated that they have four to five fold higher risk than Caucasians. To create awareness, develop early diagnostic techniques, educational and prevention programs, we started a society (South Asian Society on Atherosclerosis, SASAT) in 1993. Since then we have organized five international conferences in India on Atherosclerosis and Thrombosis. This society is unique, as it provides a wide platform for researchers, physicians, clinicians and healthcare providers to interact, develop and disseminate information needed to fight this chronic complex disease. In one of the earlier symposiums of SASAT we provided a position statement on Heart Health Care for South Asians. In this conference we would like to provide a brief overview on the global risk for CAD and the need for developing new guidelines for risk assessment and management. Click here to read more


Notes on 2004 Heart Health Conference

I am writing this letter to the subscribers of ProCOR to share my feelings (mixed), after attending the recent International Heart Health Conference in Milan. About 300 physicians, scientists, researchers and community health workers attended it. I am writing this letter with the intention of getting a healthy, constructive dialogue from the readers. But for a notice in the "ProCOR", I would have missed this meeting. Thanks for the public platform ProCOR has provided us, for discussing the issues related to non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Scientists, physicians and clinicians have done a marvelous job of conducting epidemiological investigations, organizing community studies, conducting clinical trials and arranging international workshops and conferences in Italy on NCDs. Italy has lowest incidence of Coronary artery disease in the CINDI group, yet has been doing so much to promote the prevention of these diseases. I salute the efforts of these various active groups in Italy. Click here to read more


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Heart Care