World Heart Day 2018: Why Are Indians in Their 20s and 30s Suffering From Cardiac Disorders?
Human heart (Photo Credits: Free Stock Photos)

Coronary artery disease is the most prevalent heart disease in India. Indians have increased incidences of heart disease, especially in younger age groups. It is estimated that Indians are nearly four times more susceptible to heart attacks, with 10-15 percent of attacks happening people under the age of 40; this is unheard of in other populations. Thirty is the new 40, when cardiac ailments are concerned and the age of getting heart attacks has fallen from 40 to 30 yrs in the last decade. Today, we get young people in their late 20s and 30s, who have suffered a heart attack; this is worrisome. The incidence of an acute coronary syndrome is less than 1 percent below the age of 30 years; it is a matter of concern when a young individual is affected. Once affected, one loses a few years of their productive life. 5 Things That Make Indians Prone To Heart Diseases.

What Are the Symptoms?

The symptoms suggestive of cardiac disease in young adults should not be ignored, and it should be treated aggressively with intervention or medicine. Very young heart attack patients differ in risk factors, presentation and outcomes, as compared to older patients. The common risk factors are smoking (40-50 percent), stress and bad lifestyle, besides family history and hypertension (20-25 percent) at times. It affects mainly males, but recently gender difference is declining as smoking prevalence is increasing among females in developing countries like ours. Risk factors associated with Heart attacks in men and women are similar; however, women using oral contraceptives were at a greater risk.  10 Heart-Healthy Foods That You Must Include in Your Diet.

What Could Be the Reason?

Many of us are not aware that our lifestyle and heritage could put us at risk. Modern lifestyle proved to be the instigator of heart disease. Apart from poor eating habits, sedentary lifestyle and lack of exercise are the triggers for heart diseases. Consumption of a diet rich in fat and high calories combined with smoking, alcohol and mental stress, has compounded the problem further. How Does Diabetes Cause Heart Diseases In Indians At A Young Age?

The commonest occurring symptom is chest pain, leading to heart attack (75 percent) rather than angina (25 percent). It has been observed that ‘exertion’ prior to myocardial infarction is more common in younger patients. Out of three coronary vessels which supply blood to the heart, 80 percent of patients have single vessel disease; but 20percent of patients do have two or three vessel disease. Earlier the diagnosis better outcome. Fortunately, young patients have better outcomes with angioplasty and thrombolysis (administering clot-dissolving medicine) compared to older patients.

How to Prevent Heart Disease?

• Have a regular health checkup.

• Be physically active.

• Don’t smoke and avoid passive smoking.

• Make healthy living a family affair.

• Know your family history.

• Tame your stress.

• Watch your weight right from childhood.

• Check your blood sugar and blood cholesterol.

• Measure your blood pressure regularly.

A disciplined lifestyle which entails daily fitness regimen, proper eating habits, cutting out junk food and the ability to tackle stress, will see a young, healthier India. Every effort should be made to spread awareness about avoidable risk factors, especially smoking and an unhealthy lifestyle in the younger age groups. Robust public health and individual efforts are essential to improve and maintain healthy lifestyles in young adults.

(This article has been contributed by Dr Hasmukh Ravat, Senior Interventional Cardiologist & HOD-Cardiology, Fortis Hospital, Mulund)