The death of playback singer KK from a cardiac arrest on 31 May has raised questions about increased rates of heart attacks in young Indians.
A rising number of Indian youth report suffering heart attacks over the past few years.
What is the reason for this increase in the number of heart attacks and cardiac arrests among Indian youth?
FIT Hindi spoke to heart specialists across the country to understand how you can identify heart attack risk and tackle it before it becomes a problem.
In the past, heart disease was only believed to occur with age. However, the spike in cases of heart attack in youth proves this wrong. These days, even young people are prone to suffering heart attacks.
"The lesson to be learned from heart attack cases is that if you are an Indian who has crossed the age of 50, you could have a 20 percent chance of facing heart problems. The reason for this can be poor lifestyle and other diseases".Dr. Kunal Sarkar, Chairman, Kolkata Heart Foundation
Heart disease starts a decade earlier in people in India compared to those anywhere else in the whole world. Stress and lifestyle causes have become the biggest trigger for heart attack risk in young urban Indians.
“The problem of heart attack was there in the young Indians, that is, among the youth of India. The number may have increased, but cases have been seen before. Nowadays information is easily available through media and social media, so we are getting more listening".Dr. Anjan Siotia, Director, Interventional Cardiology, BM Biral Heart Research Centre, Kolkata
Dr. Anjan Siotia further says, "There is a difference between cardiac arrest and heart attack. Which many people do not understand. Death occurs due to cardiac arrest. People who die of heart attack, then it is said that heart attack Came due to cardiac arrest and he died.
There is no rule for having a heart attack. It may be that the first heart attack can kill itself and many times people do not even know that they have had a heart attack of less severity.
Symptoms of a Heart Attack
“Most heart attacks are caused by the formation of plaques or blood clots in the coronary arteries. These blocks are formed as a result of years of eating high cholesterol foods, especially foods high in saturated fat like ghee, butter, and red meat. Plaques keep forming for years and one day they burst. This burst can be caused by stress, excessive use of tobacco, or any disease. After bursting, the plaque blocks the arteries, and can cause a heart attack."Dr. Subhash Chandra, Chairman & HOD, Cardiology, Max Hospital
"Some may or may not have early symptoms. A large number of people find out they have a heart problem only after a heart attack. But some people's bodies show the warning signs early." This is Dr. Anjan Siotia.
When you suffer a heart attack, you'll experience a feeling of pressure or pain in your chest.
Tightness and pressure in your arms or chest.
A feeling of panic
Weakness or fatigue
Many times patients experience other problems like acidity, gas, bloating, or vomiting. In the case of a cardiac arrest, the person could become unconscious.
Causes of Heart Attacks
Dr Manish Bansal, Director of Clinical and Preventive Cardiology at Medanta Hospitals explains some possible reasons for cardiac arrest:
Extremely heightened or slowed heart rate
Problems with the heart's electrical impulses
Lung or kidney disease
An imbalance in potassium, sodium, or calcium levels in the blood.
Heart attacks can also sometimes lead to a sudden cardiac arrest, which can result in death.
According to doctors, the main cause of heart attacks in India is poor lifestyle and stress. Increased stress combined with decreased physical activity and high calorie-load foods has increased heart attack risk. These lifestyle factors also increase diabetes and high blood pressure risk, compounding heart attack risk.
Heart attack risk in Indians often begins around 30-40 years of age. In heart patients, over 40 percent also suffer from diabetes. One of the main reasons for this is an unhealthy lifestyle.
In short, these are some of the possible causes of heart attacks:
High blood pressure
Lack of physical activity
“Many people do not understand that they have had a heart attack. At that time they feel that the pain they're experiencing is gas or bone pain. If they don't get tested, they may not even know. At the same time, some people also suffer silent heart attacks, in which there is no pain. Especially in diabetic patients or in older women”.
Dr. Anjan Siotia
What To Do In Case of An Emergency
In case of a heart attack, the following steps must be taken:
Give the patient aspirin
Give the patient a statin tablet
Go to the nearest hospital immediately
In the event of a cardiac arrest, Dr. Manish Bansal says, it's best to perform Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) on the patient immediately and then rush them to a hospital. This can save lives, doctors add.
Take special care of your heart and brain after recovering from COVID-19.
Dr Subhash Chandra told FIT Hindi, “One important thing is that after recovering from COVID, many people immediately resumed their old physical exercises with the same intensity as they used to do before COVID."
"The higher risk among these people is that they don't know that they're suffering from the effects of COVID, in which spontaneous clots can form in the arteries of the brain and heart. Due to which many people suffer a stroke or heart attack during intense activity."
"During the Chardham Yatra this year, we have seen that there have been a lot more deaths than in previous years. Most of them were the elderly who had recovered from COVID. Many of the dead included people who didn't undergo any kind of test before the yatra."
What Precautions Can You Take To Prevent Heart Attacks?
"Precautions in my advice should be taken from a young age. We can take precautions like following a healthy lifestyle, to avoid heart attacks.", says Dr. Anjan Siotia.
"A healthy lifestyle should become a habit and not something forced upon us. The sooner the habit is formed, the better."
"In my opinion, children should be taught the importance of healthy diet and physical exercise at home and at school so they do not have to grow up to do something new or different. Tell them to make health a priority from the beginning."Dr Anjan Siotia
Often people wake up after 60 years of sleep and feel that life has been spent earning money and their health has not been taken care of.
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