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The Ladakh Heart Foundation is a non-profit making, non political charitable trust. It was established in 1997 by Ven. T. Chogyal., a local monk. The organisation was started due to the high prevalence of cardio-vascular disease, acquired and congenital heart disease within the local community. These can be attributed to the altitude and harsh living conditions. The majority of the permanent population (120.000 ladakhi's, 8.000 Tibetans) live at altitudes of 3500 - 5000 mts. In the winter temperatures can reach as low as -36ºC and the atmosphere is that of a dry desert. Congenital heart disease, which can be described as a structural fault of the heart, present at birth, is 3 times more prevalent than in lands of low altitude. The initial phase of Rheumatic disease is a sore throat, which is transmitted by cross-infection. Cross infection is high and rural village, where in the severe winters, whole families are confined to one room.

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