But ignorant sufferers can now take heart. Die-hard believers in technology as the panacea for all human suffering have breached the final frontier to the heart's dark secrets. With cutting-edge imaging tools that can map heart's interiors in minute detail, cardiologists can now calculate the odds a person has of developing coronary heart disease.
Heralding the heart-warming news last week was the Escorts Heart Institute which signed a clinical research agreement with GE Medical Systems, world-leaders in this technology, for setting up a cardiac screening centre at the Institute. Dr Naresh Trehan, executive director of the Institute, is upbeat about bringing this new state-of-the-art diagnostic to India: 'This has major implications for a country like India which spends over Rs 450 crore on cardiac surgeries alone. The new technologies can control the rising incidence of heart diseases, save medical expenses and to a large extent unburden the medical system.'