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Editorial

Increased incidences of heart attacks: there is no need to be afraid, but rather to be cautious

January 27, 2023 05:26 PM

Heart attacks are increasing in young adults under the age of 40, including those in their 20s and 30s.Knowing what’s behind the rise in heart attacks among young adults can help you take steps to protect your health and prevent cardiovascular disease. Not long ago, heart attacks were primarily a problem faced by older adults. It was rare for anyone younger than 40 to have a heart attack. One in every five heart attack patients is now under the age of 40. Here’s another troubling fact to highlight the problem: Having a heart attack in your 20s or early 30s is more common. Between 2000 and 2022, the heart attack rate in this young age group increased by 2% every year. Your outlook isn’t better following a heart attack just because you’re younger. Patients who have a heart attack in their 20s or 30s face the same risks as older patients. Once you have that first heart attack, you have the same chance of dying from a second major heart event or a stroke, regardless of your age. The primary reason for heart attacks is diabetes.

 


If you have diabetes, you’re 2-4 times more likely to die from heart disease compared with adults who don’t have diabetes. The problem develops when your blood sugar isn’t controlled well enough to keep it within a healthy range. High blood sugar damages your blood vessels, which increases the chance of fat building up in your arteries and causing atherosclerosis. Patients with diabetes are also more likely to have other chronic health diseases that significantly increase the risk of a heart attack, including high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

 


Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is one of the biggest risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Unfortunately, just like the trend in heart attacks, the incidence of hypertension is rising faster in young adults than in older adults. High blood pressure makes your heart muscles thicken, harms your blood vessels, and increases your risk of a heart attack.

 


Overweight and obesity are key players in heart attacks.
Being overweight has a significant influence on your risk of having a heart attack for several reasons. For starters, carrying extra weight places a high demand on your heart. Obesity alone makes you more likely to have a heart attack, even if you’re otherwise healthy. Patients who are overweight or obese often have other health conditions that detract from their heart health, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol.

 

Smoking cigarettes
Of all the things that contribute to heart attacks in young adults, smoking cigarettes is one of the top risk factors. Your risk of a heart attack increases in direct proportion to the number of cigarettes you smoke. Smoking one pack a day more than doubles your risk of a heart attack compared with non-smokers.

 

Substance abuse takes a toll on your heart.

The experts are still studying the effect of marijuana on your heart, but they know that it boosts your heart rate and raises your risk of having a heart attack. Cocaine’s impact on your heart, however, is well established. Cocaine increases your heart rate, tightens your blood vessels, and raises your blood pressure, all of which are associated with heart attacks. Many heart attacks are preventable because you can change your risk factors by making lifestyle changes and taking medications if needed to protect your health. In recent times, many young and talented celebrities and healthy-looking people have succumbed to it.

 

The list is long and includes Raju Srivastava, Puneet Rajkumar, singer KK, Siddharth Shukla, and cricketer Shane Warne. Most of them were in good health. Some personalities were fitness idols. Then why did this happen to them? the fact that our bodies slow down by the time we reach 60? However, people over the age of 30 have died as a result of heart attacks, and there have been some cases where youths under the age of 30 have died as a result of heart attacks. While talking about heart attacks, it is also necessary to mention some factual data. So let's take a look at some of the highlights of the ADSI report published in the year 2021. According to the news Heart attacks accounted for 7% of the deaths in India during this period.

 

70% of those who died of a heart attack were in the age group of 30 to 60. A major concern is that this trend has increased over the years. 88% of those who died of heart attacks in the 30-60 age group were men. 51 percent of the people who died of heart attacks in India were from Maharashtra and Kerala.

 

Now it is worth noting that Maharashtra has seen the highest number of deaths from Kovid-19 after Kerala. This fact compels us to think about whether there is any relation between COVID and heart attack deaths. This is a matter of medical science and research, and there is no point in discussing it until we have any scientific studies in favour of this theory. However, it is necessary that extensive studies and research be done in this direction.

 

In today's era, we all believe that social media has played an important role in spreading awareness about heart diseases. Due to this, many types of information easily reach us, such as advice related to food, exercise, medical conditions, and other things. Many research papers, articles, or treatment-related things related to this are freely available. Many people claiming to be experts also serve such information on social media, which has neither a reference nor a source. Many times, such information also turns out to be fake. Therefore, the information available there cannot be blindly trusted. The heart is a sensitive organ, and its well-being depends on many small factors. Following and being influenced by social media role models' exercise videos or diet charts can be dangerous.

 

One of the negative aspects of social media is that today's youth are overly involved with it. Fake success stories, an influencer's stock market story, or other fanciful tales and incidents can put undue pressure on the minds of others, which can have a harmful effect on the heart as well.

 

Giving immediate treatment in case of a heart attack is an effective solution, but it is not a permanent solution. There is a need to pay attention at the primary level to avoid a heart attack. We should learn from other countries and their approaches. For example, the Heart Failure Society of America (HFSA) has developed a useful tool known as FACES.

 

This encourages both patients and doctors to act quickly to prevent an acute event such as a heart attack or stroke. The availability of appropriate technology, medicine, and professional guidance at the primary care level is the key to success. This will definitely reduce coronary heart disease and stroke.

Anika Kasat
(The writer is an 11th-grade student at Prometheus School, Noida.)

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