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Heart attacks on the rise among young across India, say experts

When blood flow is suddenly blocked due to the formation of plaques, an outcome of fatty deposits, including cholesterol, the coronary arteries can narrow down, leading to a heart attack. 

Published: 30th October 2021 03:28 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th October 2021 09:23 AM   |  A+A-

Heart

Visit a cardiologist if there is strong family history of cardiac ailments  (Representational Image)

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Sandalwood actor Puneeth Rajkumar’s untimely demise sent shockwaves and grief across the film fraternity, devoted fans and the public.

While some lament the actor’s passing at such a young age, there is also concern over the growing prevalence of heart attacks in the younger population.

Doctors The New Indian Express spoke to explained some possible reasons why such incidents are occurring regularly. 

According to Dr Manjunath CN, Cardiologist and Director of Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases, a heart attack or myocardial infarction refers to a blockage or blood clot being formed within the arteries, which blocks blood flow to the heart.

When blood flow is suddenly blocked due to the formation of plaques, an outcome of fatty deposits, including cholesterol, the coronary arteries can narrow down, leading to a heart attack. 

In the past few years, deviating from the routine pattern of striking the older population and those with pre-existing heart issues, heart diseases are now prevalent among the young -- 25 per cent of those who suffered heart attacks are below 45 years of age, not just in the state but in the entire country.

In this, 30 per cent are middle-aged and youngsters with no conventional risk factors like smoking, high BP, diabetes etc. Dr Abhijith Kulkarni, Cardiologist, Apollo Hospitals, says though there is no exact reason for such MI incidents, “lifestyle choices, your diet plan, workout routine and how you manage your stress levels can influence the possibilities of a attack”.

However, Dr Manjunath says in many people blockages develop gradually, following which there are symptoms like chest discomfort, previous heart conditioning etc, but in some cases -- like Puneeth Rajkumar, Siddharth Shukla and Chiranjeevi Sarja -- it happens without any warning symptoms. 

He says intense workouts in the gym, protein shakes and other factors can precipitate heart attacks.

It is always better to avoid isometric exercises like lifting of weights, and instead go for isotonic ones like walking and cycling. Isometric exercises add strain to muscles, which can rupture the plaques in the heart, Dr Manjunath said. 

According to doctors, family history of cardiovascular diseases is also a very strong factor.

In Puneeth Rajkumar’s case too, both his brothers Shivarajkumar and Raghavendra Rajkumar have had cardiac attacks. Stress and lifestyle also add to the disease.

TAKE THESE PRECAUTIONS  

Regular cardiac check-up. 

Visit a cardiologist if there is strong family history of cardiac ailments.

Change sedentary lifestyle.

Curb excess sugar consumption, monitor lipids, control fat consumption.

Smoking and drinking alcohol should be avoided.

Avoid isometric exercises, do more isotonic exercises.

Do not unnecessarily take supplements.

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