Is Ramadan Fasting Cardio-protective? A Study in a Village of West Bengal
Background: Islam is the second largest religion of the World (23%) and Muslims are the second largest majority of Indian Republic (14.3%). Ramadan is the ninth and holiest month(Hijra) of the 12-month Islamic calendar during which Muslims fast from dawn to dusk each day maintaining certain rules (consuming food/drink once, avoiding smoking and sexual activity, as well as impure thoughts, words and immoral behavior). It is observed by Muslims as a month of fasting to commemorate the first revelation of the Qur'an to Muhammad. Aims & Objectives: To evaluate the effect of Ramadan on cardio-metabolic profile among adult Muslims residing in rural West Bengal. Methods and Materials: The present study was a longitudinal community based study done among 43 Muslims residing in a village of West Bengal during 6thJune to 7th July 2016. Cardio-metabolic profile (physical activity, diet, BMI, blood pressure, blood lipids and glucose) were assessed before, during and after Ramadan. Results: There was a significant reduction in VLDL and TG level while significant elevation in HDL level along with the reduction in Framingham risk score after fasting. All the anthropometric measurements along with blood pressure reduced significantly after Ramadan with significant reduction in intake of all micro-nutrients during Ramadan. However physical activity also reduced significantly during Ramadan. Conclusion: Our study had found no detrimental effects of Ramadan fasting on the contrary has an overall beneficial effect on cardiovascular profile was observed.