Every year, September 29 is celebrated as World Heart Day. Image for representational purpose only. Photo Courtesy: istock
The Covid-19 pandemic and the last year has shown how many people including celebrities have succumbed to heart attacks. These not only include old but also young people who have suffered from it due to different reasons. Every year, September 29 is celebrated as World Heart Day to raise awareness about cardiovascular diseases, of which heart attacks are always a concern.
City doctors say the reasons for heart attacks in young and old people don*t differ a lot and are more or less the same. At the same time, they observe that people don*t take heart health seriously when in fact, it should be prioritised by people across age groups.
Mid-day Online spoke to Dr Pravin Kahale, consultant, cardiology, Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital and Dr Parin Sangoi, consultant cardiologist, Wockhardt Hospitals to understand why heart attacks and heart health should be a concern for individuals of all ages. They dwell on how the new-age lifestyle and habits are the main reason. They also stress on the need for people to address risk factors early and avoid processed foods.
A lot of younger celebrities and other people have had heart attacks in the last one year. What is the reason for the rise in the number of young people getting heart attacks?
Kahale: A shift in the age for heart attacks has been observed in the past decade. There are a majority of reasons attributed for this. It includes a sedentary lifestyle and lack of exercise leading to the possibility of pre-diabetes and diabetes in young adults. Smoking or drug abuse is also another reason why people get heart attacks. One of the main reasons is excess calorie consumption in addition to the lack of sleep and stress.
Sangoi: Heart disease is a leading cause of death in our country and it*s a burden on the healthcare systems. In recent years, we have seen cases where many young people are at risk of heart diseases. The reason behind this is the fad of diet, stress, silent diseases not being diagnosed, sedentary lifestyle and at times overdoing workouts.
While younger people have heart attacks, it is also known to affect many older people. Are there any different factors in both the age groups getting heart attacks?
Kahale: The reasons for heart attacks in young and old people don*t differ a lot and are more or less the same.
Sangoi: In older people, diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol, obesity and lack of sleep are the causes of heart attacks.
Heart health may not be taken as seriously as it should be. Do you think people take heart health for granted? Why should everybody be concerned about it?
Kahale: Cardiac health is not taken seriously and it needs to be prioritised. One of the best ways to do this is by addressing the risk factors associated with heart attacks. People with high blood sugar or obesity do not take significant measures till they suffer a heart attack. People often neglect heart health till it affects their entire body and has major consequences.
Sangoi: Heart is a crucial organ of our body. One must look at heart health seriously. Many people take it for granted by not paying much attention to their health. The earlier the diagnosis, the easier it is to treat it.
What are the causes of bad heart health?
1. Lack of exercise
4. Lack of sleep
6. Air pollution
7. Food pollution
This increases the risk of ailments like diabetes, blood pressure and cholesterol which leads to heart attacks.
Sangoi: Pay attention to every detail of the body. The causes and signs of a bad heart are cholesterol, smoking, excess alcohol consumption, diabetes, blood pressure, drugs, over exertion, sedentary lifestyle, lack of sleep and stress.
What are the effects of bad heart health? Please also name the disease associated with it.
Kahale: A bad heart is an automatic indicator of an unhealthy body. Our heart health is a reflection of the health of our body and bad heart health is associated with other diseases that include liver diseases, diabetes and cholesterol.
Sangoi: Bad heart health leads to further worsening of diabetes and blood pressure due to decreased pumping capacity of the heart, heart failure and irregular heart rhythm.
What are the different foods that people can eat to have better heart health?
Kahale: Avoid eating processed foods. Cutting down our carbohydrate intake helps us have better heart health. Foods that improve it include salads, fruits, healthy fats and vegetables.
Sangoi: There are various ways to keep your heart healthy. Eating a wholesome meal, green leafy vegetables and pulses to your diet. Avoid junk and deep-fried food and eat meals on time. People should also do a regular health check-up after the age of 40.
Please share tips to maintain proper heart health.
1. Maintaining ideal weight
2. Good exercise regime
3. Healthy amount of sleep
4. Cutting down on salt and sugar
5. Regular Blood pressure maintenance
6. Maintaining our cholesterol and diabetes at a safe threshold
7. Regular body check-ups
Sangoi: Activities and exercises one must keep in mind are slow body stretches, daily walks of at least 30 minutes for five days a week is very important. However, everything should be in moderation.
What are the activities and exercises that people should do and avoid in younger or old age to prevent heart attacks and maintain heart health?
Kahale: If the patient does not have any cardiac ailments then they should involve themselves in all types of physical activities which includes walking, running and other exercises. But an exercise limitation is important if one suffers from cardiac ailments. Patients with cardiac ailments are usually involved in activities of âCardiac Rehab* which has proven to show better health outcomes.
Sangoi: Younger age groups should take up jogging, cycling and moderate weightlifting. In the older age group, brisk walking will be good.
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