The increase in cases of heart attacks in the young population has started a debate on unhealthy lifestyle choices, unsafe practices to attain a certain kind of body shape and mental health problems. Moreover, underlying, undetected diseases or conditions, impact of corona virus on heart health and sedentary lifestyle are also the areas that have come under the spotlight in this debate. Amid growing concerns Dr Rajan Thakur Chairman and Managing Director of Heart Hospitals answers the most frequently asked questions related to heart attacks and shares his tips on how to avoid it especially at a young age. Excerpts:
What causes heart attacks in youngsters?
Heart attack in the young population can be due to underlying and undetected health conditions. Moreover, sedentary lifestyle-related problems like diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, too much stress, obesity at young age are also the reasons behind a significant rise of heart attacks in the young population.
How is covid linked to heart diseases?
Recent studies have shown that the coronavirus infection can cause inflammation in blood vessels, damage small vessels or cause blood clots that can lead to poor blood flow to heart, thus increasing the risks. Also, Covid can increase the risks of heart attack in patients suffering from conduction disorder of heart, untimely diabetes, mellitus, hypertension, myocarditis etc.
Why do most youngsters get heart attacks in gyms, or during exercises? Any reason?
Exercises should always be moderate, say 30 minutes of jogging, walking or Yoga. Extreme exercise in gyms are not advisable as it can lead to cardiac arrests or heart attacks. Very rigorous exercises can also lead to heart failures or other health issues.
Many youngsters rely on steroids, supplements to remain fit, get into desired body shape and for beauty. Are there any harmful impacts on the heart? Please explain.
Steroids should be avoided to get fit as they have a detrimental effect on the body. Using them can lead to early diabetes in youngsters and many other health complications.
What are the early warning signs of a heart attack?
The early warning signs of a heart attack include pain in the left side of chest, in the left arm or below the chest. Moreover, shortness of breath, uneasiness after taking food, discomfort in climbing stairs, unconsciousness, pain in jaw are also the major signals of an impending heart attack.
Why have deaths from heart attacks become so common? What are the effects of stress, depression and busy lifestyle on heart health?
Deaths from heart attacks are very common in India and South Asia. Lack of preventive checkups after the age of 30s from a good cardiologist can lead to undetected health issues like blood pressure, diabetes, dyslipidemia. Our food style is also to be blamed. We tend to take too much salt in our lunch, dinners, etc. Plus our proclivity towards sweets, pastry, desserts, cold drinks also has deleterious effects. Lack of 30 minutes of exercise and smoking cigarettes or consuming too much alcohol are also to be blamed. Too much stress also plays a role in it.
Are mental health issues linked with heart problems? Use of antidepressants or any therapies?
Stress and depression have harmful effects on health. Mental health issues along with metabolic syndrome disorders like blood pressure, diabetes etc., can exacerbate the problem. One should consult good doctor to avoid this
Any tips or advice?
Preventive check ups after the age of 30 years should be done with a good consultant cardiologist. If any abnormality is detected, one should take medicines as prescribed. A healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet, moderate exercises should be followed. One should also develop some hobbies to avoid unnecessary stress for better heart health.
(The article is for informational purposes only. Please consult medical experts and health professionals before starting any therapy, medication and/or remedy. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of the Financial Express Online.)