A bride in her early 20s collapsed at her wedding hours after exchanging garlands in Malihabad, UP. A man in his mid-20s collapsed during a walk with his friends in the streets of Meerut, UP. A television actor in his early 40s collapsed while working out in a gym in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
What’s common among all these incidents ?
In each case, the deceased had a heart attack without any prior diagnosis of heart disease. And they were all under the age of 50 years.
Heart Attacks in Younger Generations
There was a time when people in their 60s, 70s, or 80s had cardiac arrests. But today, a growing number of young people have been succumbing to heart attacks. The tragic part – these people usually appear fit and don’t show any obvious signs of heart disease.
According to recent research, nearly 20% of heart attack patients are younger than 40. But why is the risk of heart attack growing among the youth?
To begin with, most youngsters today aren’t particularly physically active due to their sedentary jobs and unhealthy lifestyle choices. The ability to order everything in a few clicks reduces movement in these individuals further.
Moreover, the fast pace of the modern world increases stress, which can be a significant cause of heart disease. Younger generations are also more likely to indulge in junk, processed food, which elevates cholesterol levels and the risk of other diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension. Packaged foods also lead to weight gain, another crucial risk factor for heart attacks.
Young people usually don’t visit heart disease specialists regularly to undergo health screening. That means any underlying cardiovascular ailment remains undiagnosed until it’s too late for heart disease treatment. In many cases, there’s no time for surgical interventions, such as angioplasty in the heart or a coronary bypass.
Tips for a Heart-Healthy Lifestyle
If you’re under 40 and worried about your heart health, the best option is to consult with a heart specialist. If you live in Telangana, you can reach out to Dr. C Raghu, a renowned and reputed cardiologist in Hyderabad.
A cardiologist can use various tests, such as ECG, angiogram, chest X-ray, etc., to evaluate your cardiac health and determine whether you’re at risk of a heart attack. It’s particularly crucial if you have a family history of heart disease.
Additionally, you can make various lifestyle changes to heart attack risk factors. Start by avoiding high-calorie junk and fried foods that cause plaque buildup and lead to coronary artery disease.
Replace these foods with healthier alternatives, such as fresh fruits and vegetables. Include sources of omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish, nuts, flaxseeds, and broccoli, in your diet. Avoid sugary drinks and carbonated beverages.
It’s also crucial to ensure that you get ample physical exercise throughout the week. From maintaining a healthy weight to controlling blood sugar and cholesterol levels, exercise offers several benefits. It’s good for your mental health, too.
If you don’t have time to go to the gym, try going for a brisk walk early in the morning. Cycling and swimming are also excellent aerobic exercises that improve heart health. Simple habit changes, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevators, are also beneficial.
It’s also crucial to take care of your mental health. Make sure you get 7-8 hours of sleep every night and avoid things or environments that trigger stress. If needed, seek professional help for stress management.
Lastly, it’s a good idea to steer clear of smoking and alcohol consumption. Both tobacco and alcohol are known to increase the risk of heart disease. If you want to live a heart-healthy lifestyle, it’s best to avoid such habits.
Several factors, including genetics, environment, nutrition, and lifestyle, influence your risk of having a heart attack. While some of these factors aren’t under your control, you can take several measures to minimize your risk.
Visit a heart specialist for regular check-ups and screenings. Make healthy lifestyle modifications, follow an exercise routine, and eat a balanced diet packed with antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. Get sufficient rest and sleep, and watch your mental health, too.
Dr. C Raghu is the best heart doctor in Hyderabad and one of the best cardiologists in India. If you have any queries regarding heart-healthy lifestyle changes or heart disease treatment, feel free to consult Dr. Raghu today.