Heart Attacks and Young People…Here’s Why:
A blog about the growing number of heart attacks amongst young people.
It’s no secret that heart attacks have always been an issue for those who are middle aged and above. But what about young people? Are young people having a higher risk of heart attack than ever before? Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death among Indians, and that risk progresses exponentially with obesity.
It is surprising that so many Indians are unaware of the general prevalence of heart failure in adults, given that it is a leading cause of death worldwide. Although heart failure kills an estimated 20% of Indians with the disease—a total of 1.6 million Indians in 2012. India accounts for one out of five, of all non-communicable diseases related deaths worldwide, and most of these deaths occur among younger populations.
The World Health Organization revealed that India accounts for 20% of all non-communicable diseases related deaths worldwide and most of these deaths are from the younger population. The Global Burden of Disease study stated that the cardiovascular disease death rate in India is 272 per 100,000 people, which is notably higher than the global average of 235.
There are many factors behind this trend, which makes it hard to pinpoint just one reason why this is happening. Some say heart disease is on the rise because younger people are in worse health than they’ve been in the past due to lifestyle choices such as too much fast food and less activity.
Reasons Why Heart Disease in young people is on the Rise in India
There are many factors that can lead to heart disease. Some of these include:
- Smoking or being exposed to smoke at a young age – Smoking increases blood pressure levels which can increase the risk of developing heart problems later on in life.
- Poor diet (high fat content) and lack of physical activity – A diet high in fat causes cholesterol levels to rise in the body which can lead to clogged arteries and increased risk of heart attack or stroke.
- Lack of proper rest and sleep – Lack of proper rest and sleep can cause a number of problems throughout your body. If you don’t get enough sleep, your immune system will be weakened
- Family history of heart problems – A family history of heart problems refers to a person’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease based on their parent(s) or other close relatives’ medical history. Cardiovascular disease includes high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease.
- Sedentary lifestyle- A lifestyle that involves little physical activity. This can include sitting or lying down for long periods of time, such as during a commute to and from work, or while working at a desk job. A sedentary lifestyle is associated with an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and even death.
- Stress – Stress can trigger chemical changes in the body that increase adrenaline levels which can speed up your heart rate and make it harder for your arteries to relax thereby increasing your risk of developing cardiovascular diseases such as angina or blocked arteries which may require surgery or medication to treat them
To reduce your risk of developing heart disease, follow these tips:
- You need to know your numbers:
First, calculate your total cholesterol. To do so, add up the numbers for your HDL (high- density lipoprotein), LDL (low-density lipoprotein), and triglycerides. If you’re between 100 and 199, then you’re in the normal range. If your number is below 200 mg/dL, then you are at a lower risk for heart disease. If it’s above 200 mg/dL, then you should consider making changes to reduce this number.
Next, calculate your blood pressure. Again, if it’s between 120/80 and 140/90 mmHg, then it’s considered normal—but if it’s higher than that range, then steps should be taken to lower it over time through diet and exercise changes (or medication).
- Eat healthy foods: Choose whole grains instead of white breads and pastas, and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables every day. These foods are full of nutrients that help keep your cardiovascular system healthy.
- Watch what you drink: Limit alcohol consumption because too much booze can increase blood pressure levels in the body and cause other complications associated with heart disease development. Drink plenty of water every day instead.
- Exercise regularly: The Indian Heart Association recommends 30 minutes per day at least five days per week for adults between ages 18-65 years old; however, this should be modified based on individual needs and abilities.
- Avoid smoking or drinking heavily: Smoking is not just bad for your health, it’s also bad for your family (passive smoking). It can cause a wide range of issues, from reduced lung capacity to an increased risk of heart disease. If you’re a smoker or drink heavily, it’s important to make changes in your lifestyle to avoid any negative effects.