About 30% heart attack patients admitted to hospitals for treatment after a heart attack are under 40 years. This noticeable upsurge in heart disease in younger adults is caused mainly due to smoking, work and non-work related stress, unhealthy diet, lack of sufficient physical activity and excess consumption of salt and packaged food.
It is noted the youth who smoke up to 10 cigarettes a day are likely to develop heart diseases by 50%. A rise in cholesterol levels can irk heart rates and the risk increases by 50% and rise in blood pressure levels increase the risk rate to up to 30%. According to WHO, cardiovascular diseases takes lives of 17.7 million people every year.
Leading cardiologist Dr RN Kalra, medical director & CEO of New Delhi-based Kalra Hospital & Sri Ram Cardio-Thoracic & Neurosciences Centre (SRCNC), says the numbers are not going to decrease unless drastic steps are taken. The problem is that we are leading a very sedentary lifestyle that doesn’t allow us much physical activity. Today’s youth is stressed out mentally as well as physically. A major solution is drastic lifestyle modification that will help prevent premature heart attacks.
“Young ones are the pillars of our nation, hence need priority attention on their health issues. Among all diseases non-communicable disease, including cardiovascular disease, are the biggest threat to them. Modern lifestyle living has come out to be the biggest culprit. Among other lifestyle habits found highly associated with heart attack episodes were lack of exercise, high intake of junk food, He says that young ones spending big time watching or working on computer/ phone/ tabs/ screen/ TV which is very harmful to heart health,” adds Dr Kalra.
“Cardiovascular diseases have become one of the leading cause of mortality especially in India. I come across patients who have developed cardiovascular diseases due their lifestyle. The amount of stress in their daily lives have put their heart in danger. It is important to say no to unhealthy practices like smoking and the consumption of alcohol and indulging in physical activities to prevent heart ailment. We want to educate people on the importance of staying fit, eating well and leading a stress free life to keep their heart healthy in the long run,” says Dr Kalra.
Senior consultant of internal medicine of Indraprastha Apollo Hospital Dr. Rakesh Kumar, said that thrive on healthy food instead of relying on junk food, this is simple to adopt and very effective. Despite having a busy schedule, try and make time to organise, prioritise and balance your lifestyle. Take up either yoga or dance or any other form of exercise that is therapeutic and helps in keeping you physically and mentally healthy.
He urged young people to shift to healthy lifestyle. Stress management exercises like yoga and meditation, high intake of fruits and vegetables, staying away from smoking, drugs and steroids, 45 minutes exercise daily at least five days a week, moderation on alcohol intake, six-seven hours of sleep, keeping diabetes & Blood Pressure in control, limit screen time to minimum – are all heart-friendly activities and can prevent onset of heart disease by up to 80%.