The European Association of Echocardiography By Dr. Vivek Baliga

The European Association of Echocardiography (EAE) was founded in 2003 and remains one of the most active branches of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). The EAE contributes to the community of European and international cardiologists through the development of accreditation and certification procedures for echocardiography across the European continent. The EAE is also responsible for an educational platform that utilizes webinars, basic educational courses, 3-D imaging software, and various additional online tools to ensure a superior standard of excellence among echocardiography specialists.

EUROECHO, the world’s leading echocardiography conference, is another of the EAE’s offerings. Last year’s event broke records with its 3,600 attendees from over 90 countries.

The EAE continually is striving to meet the evolving needs of its members. Recent initiatives include a committee made of young doctors, particularly women, who are interested in echocardiography; and the publication of an updated Textbook of Echocardiography.

About the Author

Dr. Vivek Baliga is a leading cardiologist who currently is pursuing a doctoral degree at the University of Leeds. He is a member of the EAE.

Effects of Malaria on the Cardiovascular System, By Vivek Baliga

The primary cardiovascular component affected by a malarial infection is the blood. Entering the body through a mosquito’s saliva, the parasite infects the blood cells and travels throughout the body to damage its organs. Many patients experience low blood pressure as the body is weakened and damaged blood cells die.

The heart can experience a number of complications from malaria. Added strain from pulmonary edema, disruptions of the heart’s electrical function, tachycardia, and aggravation of existing heart conditions can occur with potentially lethal results. While much is known about the various types of malaria, a great deal of research is still needed to fully understand the effects of malaria on the body. Until recently, little attention was given to connections between malaria and heart, failure which is now the focus of research teams in Europe and the United States.

About the Author:
Vivek Baliga is currently pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of Leeds, focused on cardiovascular research. Baliga previously served with a team of medical professional in Mangalore, India in efforts to educate schoolchildren on malaria prevention.

Badminton: An Excellent Form of Exercise By Vivek Baliga

Often regarded as merely a lawn game, badminton is actually an excellent form of exercise for people of all fitness levels. Playing badminton helps develop:

1. Agility: Diving for shuttlecocks and hustling from one side of the court to the other help players improve their agility, speed their reflexes, and improve their hand-eye coordination.

2. Overall fitness: Like any cardiovascular exercise, badminton helps improve general fitness indicators. These include lowering the risk of heart attack and stroke, aiding in weight loss, regulating blood pressure, promoting healthy bones, and increasing HDL (good) cholesterol.

3. Strength: In addition to strengthening the heart, lungs, and leg muscles, badminton strengthens the arm and wrist as well. While the racquets may not seem powerful initially, players can use them to hit the shuttlecock at speeds of up to 200 miles per hour.

In addition, because badminton is played with other people, the sport provides a prime opportunity to meet new friends or interact with existing friends. Avid fans of badminton may also find enjoyment through watching matches as a spectator.

About Vivek Baliga

A PhD candidate at England’s University of Leeds, Vivek Baliga enjoys playing badminton in his spare time. In addition to his current recreational forays into the sport, Baliga played on a college championship team in 1994.

Dr. Vivek Baliga Discusses Mangalore

Found in the Indian state of Karnataka, Mangalore functions as a port city between the Arabian Sea and the Western Ghats. It manages more than 75% of India’s exports, especially the popular cashew. Another valuable purpose for this city involves directing sea traffic toward the Malabar Coast.

Aside from its commercial benefits, Mangalore serves as a popular vacation area due to its landmarks, beaches, and beautiful scenery. Some of its most famous spots include the Kudroli Sri Gokarnanatheshwara Temple and the Kadri Sri Manjunatha Temple. The latter facility contains a remarkable bronze statue of Lokeshvara, the Indian Savior God. Located 350 kilometers from Bangalore, it often becomes a getaway for those who live and work near Karnataka’s capital. Moreover, it houses the Mangalore Bajpe Airport, and the Southern Railway stops there.

About the author:

A medical professional, Dr. Vivek Baliga concentrates in cardiology and cardiovascular research. For a period, Dr. Baliga traveled with a team of doctors to Mangalore where they educated children and adults in stopping malaria.

The International Society for Krishna Consciousness, by Vivek Baliga

Also known as The Hare Krishna Movement, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) subscribes to the teachings of The Bhagavad-gita and the lessons of Lord Krishna. Following the 5,000-year-old scripture, ISKCON inspires followers to believe that the meaning of life is to discover one’s love of the omnipotent God known as Krishna by using the bkahti-yoga. Based on Hindu philosophy, ISKCON believes in the ability to become free from anxiety and supports the idea of reincarnation. Additionally, the group feels that all actions should be meant for Krishna and that people should avoid selfish motives.

ISKCON holds recognition for being the first Eastern religion openly practiced in the West. Emerging from popular ideas held in India, it found practitioners in New York City during the 1960s and soon spread throughout America. Those interested in joining this religion can log onto http://www.iskcon.org. The website contains links to temples across the world.

About the Author:

Currently studying towards his PhD in Cardiovascular Research at the University of Leeds, Vivek Baliga donates money to ISKCON every year.

COPD Made Worse by Smoking, by Vivek Baliga

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a condition that inhibits or hinders normal breathing. Symptoms of the disease include coughing up mucus and severe shortness of breath. The disease is often related to cigarette smoking. Researchers for the European Respiratory Society, Vivek Baliga, S. Faruqi, I. Djoukhadar, M. Thirumaran, and S. Meghjee, have surveyed patients diagnosed with COPD on their experiences with smoking. The survey confirmed that a significant number of patients were unaware of the relationship between smoking and COPD.

Cigarette smoking is the most common cause of COPD, though breathing in pollution, chemicals, dust, and other irritants can also contribute to the disease. Though there is no cure for COPD, quitting smoking greatly improves the condition and can prevent its occurrence. Researchers are working to increase patient awareness of this fact.

There are many free quit-smoking programs offered to patients diagnosed with the disease. Though smoking is a difficult habit to stop, smokers diagnosed with COPD should reach out to doctors and other health experts on how to quit.

A Look at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children

Active with the Division of Cardiovascular and Diabetes Research at the University of Leeds, Vivek Baliga stays involved with healthcare projects throughout England. Every month, Vivek Baliga contributes to Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity, a foundation that supports Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children.

Located in London, this group began its life on Valentine’s Day in 1852 as The Hospital for Sick Children. Only a 10-bed facility at its start, the organization received attention from notables including Charles Dickens, Queen Victoria, and J.M. Barrie, who donated the copyright to the Peter Pan works to the facility.

Today, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children tends to youths as the largest pediatric care center in the United Kingdom. Its specialists are trained in cardiology, hematology, neuropsychology, oncology, and numerous other fields.

People looking to contribute to this medical clinic may visit http://www.gosh.org. The Donate link on “Our Charity Site” contains a variety of ways to give funds, including legacies, ongoing donations, and one-time gifts. The group also welcomes corporate sponsors from around the world.