Heart attacks, also known as myocardial infarctions, once were called “old man disease” as it has long been associated with older individuals, typically those over 50. Many brows and speculations were made after the sudden demise of famous actor Sidharth Sukla at the age of 40 followed by comedian Raju Srivastava and renowned singer KK, who were living at the peak of their lives due to cardiac complications.
They are not the only ones, comedian Sunil Grover, choreographer Remo D’Souza and megastar Saif Ali Khan had a history of heart attack at the early age of 36. Moreover, questions were raised about how she could get a heart attack, when she is so fit – when superstar Susmita Sen suffered from a heart attack in 2023 at the age of 47 while she is a yoga and healthy dietary enthusiast.
Recent years have witnessed an alarming increase in heart attacks among the youth. As per studies, almost 45% of deaths in the 40-69 year age group on account of heart attacks. The question is why Indian youths who are seemingly fit are vulnerable to heart attacks?
Top 5 reasons why heart attacks are increasing are as follows:
- A genetic predisposition to heart attacks, which is inevitably
- Most prevailing causes: Obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol and Hypertension
- Poor Lifestyle Routine: Lack of Sleep, Stress, Inactivity, Excessive Exercise, Diet, Smoking, and Drinking
1. Stress could be your Heart’s Worst Enemy
Stress is a silent killer, as chronic stress triggers the release of stress hormones like cortisol that can damage blood vessels and raise blood pressure increasing the risk of heart attacks.
High stress levels are often the result of fast-paced, competitive and demanding work environments, academic pressures, and the constant need to meet societal expectations. Additionally, the digital age has introduced new forms of stress, the pressure to maintain a social media presence and the constant influx of information.
Though this may not have an immediate adverse effect but release of cortisol over a long period has a devastating effect. It leads to cholesterol build-up, increase in blood sugar and high blood pressure causing plaque accumulation in the arteries increasing the risk of a heart attack.
Young adults are more likely to miss the signs of deteriorating heart conditions. It’s best to be aware of the ways to tackle stress in this cut-throat competitive era.
- Learn to say “NO” to overwhelming tasks
- Prioritise your well-being
- Connect with family and friends
- Adopt calming techniques like medication, count to ten in a stressful situation or even adopt pets or visit animal shelters.
Young adults can also seek help from the top cardiac hospitals in Bhubaneswar. Sum Ultimate specialises in managing hypertension and stress-related heart issues by employing advanced diagnostic tools and custom-made treatment plans to control blood pressure and alleviate stress.
Our team of the best cardiologists in Odisha offer stress management programmes, psychological counselling, and relaxation techniques to help young adults cope with the pressures of modern life.
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2. Too Little Sleep can Hurt your Heart
Too little sleep can hurt one’s work quality too. Burning night lamps for late-night calls, catering to clients from different time zones, erratic work schedules, excessive use of electronic devices, and poor sleep habits are some of the primary culprits.
Sleep is a necessity, not a luxury. When we sleep, our body repairs itself. Sleeping less than 6 hours causes hormonal imbalance and is more likely to lead to a host of heart problems including weight gain, development of diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, back pain and headaches.
The recommended sleep per night is 7-9 hours. But beware, too much sleep won’t make you live longer and younger. Sleep improves your heart, your mood and your quality of life. Learn the basics of falling asleep as easy as 1, 2, zzz…
- Stick to a consistent sleep schedule
- Create a comfortable sleep environment
- Limit caffeine and alcohol intake before bedtime
- Reduce screen time before sleep
Additionally, Sum Ultimate offers comprehensive heart health programmes that focus on preventive care through lifestyle modification and education. Embracing simple lifestyle changes can go a long way in reducing the risk of heart attacks and promoting a healthier, longer life.
3. Watch What’s on Your Plate
Modern life has brought convenience but also a sedentary lifestyle, which includes extended hours of sitting at work compelling young adults to opt for an unhealthy diet followed by a lack of physical activity. This trifecta creates a perfect storm for heart health issues.
Young adults are hooked on processed food like chowmien, pizza, pasta, noodles, cakes, cookies, chips, burgers, fries, etc., Though they taste divine, these are a recipe for disaster. The lack of exercise coupled with a diet rich in processed foods, excessive sugar, and unhealthy fats leads to obesity, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol levels which contribute significantly to heart disease.
The best way to balance up your diet is:
- Go for home-cooked meals
- Fix nutritional deficiencies
- Bask in the sun and take supplements for vitamin D
- Include Omega-3 fatty acids-rich foods like fish, leafy greens, walnuts
It’s best to reach out to the best dieticians in Bhubaneswar for expert guidance on diet. Sum Ultimate dedicated cardiac department has a team of multifaceted specialists who cater to personalised diet plans, exercise regimens, and stress management to help individuals adopt a heart-healthy lifestyle.
4. Exercise - harm of too little and too much
Being a couch potato or an avid exerciser has its adverse effects. If you think your gym trainer knows better. Think again. It is much recommended that before you sign up for a gym membership, sign up for a cardiac examination and get consent from a doctor regarding your heart health.
Sitting for at least 13 hours or walking fewer than 4,000 steps increases the risk of insulin resistance, poor blood sugar control and high accumulation of fats. If one is too busy or too lazy to get up and exercise then the best way to stay fit is to adapt light intensity activity from your lifestyle.
- Get up from the work desk once in a while
- Walk and talk on the phone but not on the streets
- Best one- Skip lift and take the stairs
- Carry your groceries, backpacks or luggage
- Do your chores
5. Tobacco & Alcohol: The Leading Causes
- TOBACCO: Stop intake of tobacco. Smoking narrows the arteries, reduces oxygen flow to the heart, and raises blood pressure
- ALCOHOL: Avoid excessive alcohol consumption. It can lead to high blood pressure, irregular heartbeats, and weakening of the heart muscle
Why Sum Ultimate is your ultimate solution for Cancer treatment?
Sum Ultimate is a multi-super speciality quaternary care hospital, catering to comprehensive cardiac care. The best cardiologists in Bhubaneswar work in tandem with nutritionists, fitness experts and multi-disciplinary experts.
Get into smoking cessation and alcohol addiction programs to quit smoking and avoid alcohol consumption followed by behavioural counselling, medication support, and regular follow-ups to ensure the best possible outcomes.
For individuals with the knowledge of genetic disposition, Sum Ultimate Hospital’s dedicated cardiology department provides specialised care focusing on preventive measures, regular monitoring, dietary guidance, medication management and more
Though it might feel worthless to waste money on things that might not be there, early detection of risk factors can help address underlying issues before they escalate and cost much more.