Kannada actor Puneeth Rajkumar died of a major cardiac arrest on Friday, 29 October, in Bengaluru, according to media reports.
Fondly called Appu by his fans, Puneeth is 46 years old. He is also the son of legendary actor Rajkumar.
A heart attack may seem like a problem associated with old age, but it is rapidly affecting the youth.
Television personality and film actor Sidharth Shukla passed away due to a heart attack in September. Sidharth was 40 years old.
In June this year, Indian Filmmaker Raj Kaushal, husband to Actor Mandira Bedi, died of cardiac arrest after suffering a heart attack. He was only 49 years old at the time.
What is the reason for this growing epidemic of heart attacks in the young?
Heart Attacks Affecting More Young People
Dr Vishal Rastogi, Additional Director, Cardiac Sciences, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, had earlier told FIT that "age is considered one of the non-modifyable risk factors of heart problems."
"Like somebody who has high blood pressure, the arteries will start to harden up and as they harden up, they become more prone to crack up," Dr Rastogi had said.
He said younger people are also more likely to have heart attacks as the first presentation of (cardiovascular diseases) CVD.
However, older people are more likely to experience the relatively harmless, stable angina first as a warning sign.
Causes of Heart Attacks in the Young
Poor lifestyle choices like poor eating habits, bad posture, lack of exercise, smoking
The 'hustle culture' and the resulting stress
Young people don't take care of their health in their 'prime years' and are slogging away trying to achieve in life, resulting in poor lifestyle choices, Dr Rastogi said
Genetic factors which present as problems like hypercholesterolemia wherein, the cholesterol is so high that the arteries become clogged with fat fatty tissues, he added.
High levels of air pollution can also be a factor.
Various studies have also pointed out that Indians are at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular diseases than others – 10 years sooner than other ethnicities.
Early Signs To Look Out For
Diffused, dull chest pain
Heaviness and pressure in the chest or upper stomach
Pain or discomfort in the jaw
Shortness of breath or feeling of obstruction in the chest
Retrosternal–behind the breast bone–burning that may be mistaken for acidity.