New Delhi: Actor Siddharth Shukla passed away on Thursday (September 2) at the age of 40. A heart attack was said to be the reason behind his sudden death. However, doctors at Cooper Hospital have said that the cause of his shocking death would be known after the postmortem. Earlier, actress Mandira Bedi’s director husband Raj Kaushal passed away at the age of 49 due to cardiac arrest. Gujarati film actor Amit Mistry also died of a heart attack in April this year at the age of 47.
The death of celebrities in their 40s from heart attacks points to a greater trend of relatively younger people suffering cardiac arrest. Earlier it was believed that heart disease is a problem suffered by seniors – who are already frail and often have co-morbidities. but not anymore.
Research presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 2019 conference says that in the United States, 20 percent of people who have a heart attack are 40 years old or younger; A rate that has increased by 2 percent annually for the past 10 years. The study also found that younger patients with heart attacks have a similar risk of dying than their older counterparts. A decreasing trend in the age group suffering from heart diseases has been observed in other countries as well.
“It is very sad to see such a high incidence of heart disease in India. Recently heart diseases have become quite common among young people. According to the Cardiology Society of India, 25 percent of the people who die of heart attack are under age. 35 years,” shares Dr. Manoj Kumar, Senior Director Cardiology, Head of Interventional Cardiology, Max Hospital Delhi.
He adds, “A recent study published in The Lancet has concluded that people born after 1970 have a higher risk of developing heart disease because they are inclined to lead a sedentary lifestyle. “
Reasons why young people are having heart attacks
Several factors such as smoking, leading a sedentary lifestyle, alcohol consumption, drug abuse, eating processed food, being obese, stress, genetic predisposition can put one at risk of developing heart diseases.
“The main reasons[for young adults to have heart attacks]are alcohol and smoking, irregular sleep, increased amounts of stress and a sedentary lifestyle that promotes less physical activity. All these lifestyle changes are increasing the risk and incidence of chronic diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes. All these lifestyle changes are increasing the risk of chronic diseases like high blood pressure and diabetes – we see patients with high cholesterol who are in their 20s or 30s,” says Dr Ashish Agarwal, cardiologist at Aakash Healthcare.
An increase in type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure in young people is also an alarming sign for their heart health. Type 2 diabetes, which is generally caused by a sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy eating habits, predisposes people to the development of heart diseases. High blood pressure also increases your chances of having a heart attack.
“People who have high blood pressure or a family history of heart problems should start monitoring their health through annual check-ups from their mid-30s onwards,” Dr Aggarwal said.
He adds, “Some people may also have a family history of diseases that further increase their risk. It is wrong to assume that a well built body is a sign of good health – people should make healthy choices in terms of food by including green vegetables in their diet, try to avoid alcohol, quit smoking and reduce Should sleep less than 7 to 8 hours.”
While all these factors can contribute to a heart attack. Smoking is especially dangerous. According to an internal study chaired by Dr Kumar at Max Hospital Delhi, nearly 90 per cent of youth who suffered heart attacks were addicted to smoking and physical inactivity.
risk factors for heart diseases
- diabetes type 2
- high blood pressure
- high cholesterol
- family history of heart disease
- sedentary lifestyle
- high consumption of processed foods
- stress and anxiety
- irregular sleep patterns
There are major risk factors that can lead to the development of heart diseases.
Contributing to the rise in COVID-19 heart attacks?
The COVID-19 pandemic may also be a factor in the increased incidence of heart attacks, especially among young individuals and people in general.
“It is true that we are seeing more youth these days with heart attacks, but remember we are in the midst of a bad pandemic of COVID-19 and COVID-19 creates cytokines,” says Dr Vivek Jawali, Cardio Thoracic Head of Vascular Sciences, Fortis Hospitals, Bangalore says. .
Cytokines are small proteins released from our cells that help with the body’s immune and inflammatory responses. Overproduction of cytokines can create a cytokine storm that allows more immune cells to be recruited to the site of injury-causing inflammation that can lead to organ damage.
Dr. Jawali shares, “Cytokines can easily cause clots inside blood vessels. These days a lot of young people with low-grade corona disease get RT-PCR positive and they can hide it for social reasons And may remain in quarantine silently. They cannot be managed properly.”
“Their (cytokine) inflammatory markers need to be checked and if they are high and anticoagulant drugs are not taken on time, in the right dose and for the right time, they can easily develop intravascular clotting in the arteries of the heart and can have a heart attack or die dramatically,” warns Dr. Jawali.
He advises people, “The message is that patients with high inflammatory markers should be on anti-clotting medications for 6 to 8 weeks after a COVID infection.”