Indians are genetically more prone to heart disease, but the adoption of Western lifestyles and diets has increased this risk exponentially, leading to a pandemic of “heart attacks in young people”.
A growing number of young people in their twenties and thirties are suffering from heart disease. News of otherwise healthy young people suddenly succumbing to a massive heart attack is now heard more often than ever before. These deaths grab headlines, especially when the victim is some celebrity. There is disbelief, shock, and then a sudden increase in the number of young, healthy people coming to clinics for a full checkup.
It’s what Dr. Kaushal Chhatrapati, Senior Interventional Cardiologist, FACC FSCAI FESC, observed lately.
Dr. Chhatrapati, “Of course, there are some rare genetic and structural heart disease such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, Brugada disease, long QT syndromes and coronary artery abnormalities which are responsible for some of these deaths. These are of course very rare, but most cases of sudden death in young adults are preventable.
Factors Contributing to the “Young Heart Attack” Pandemic“
According to Dr. Chhatrapati, Indians are genetically cursed and have a higher probability of suffering from heart disease in their lifetime than Westerners. With the adoption of Western lifestyles and diets, this risk has snowballed exponentially.
The cardiologist continues: “Students today happily drink 700 calorie Frappuccinos in cafes, followed by a 600 calorie burger. Diabetes among adolescents and young people has become frighteningly common, and India has well and properly cemented his place as “Diabetes Capital“Hukka Parlors,” featuring exotic tobacco flavors, are all the rage in the young hippie crowd. Among teenage students, smoking is not just a “feminist statement,” but a “weight control hack.” (Smoking kills appetite and reduces weight in an unhealthy way). Tobacco is by far the biggest contributor to the ‘young heart attack’ pandemic.”
“OTT platforms have turned teenagers into couch potatoes and outdoor games have been replaced by gaming consoles. Even ‘gymming’ is done in the most unhealthy way. Hormone-rich protein shakes punctuate every workout and anabolic steroids are abused to achieve the “puffy” buff look.All of these are extremely toxic and cause Hypertension, diabetes, stroke and heart attack,” he adds.
Steps to avoid a heart attack after 30
Dr. Chhatrapati advises young people to adopt these 7 habits for a healthy heart:
- Have healthy habits. Do not smoke, do not abuse alcohol or drugs.
- Perform a comprehensive cardiac health check including ECG, 2D echo and stress test
- Measure glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) and lipid profile, as well as other parameters annually. Treat so high.
- Have your blood pressure measured periodically. Do not delay treatment if BP is elevated.
- Maintain an ideal body weight. Eat healthy.
- Practice an active lifestyle, with a moderate exercise regimen built into your day.
- Practice meditation and avoid stress. Get 7-9 hours of sleep a day.
“Today’s youth are India’s ‘demographic dividend’. India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. The health of our future generation is paramount if India is to become a dominant economic superpower in the world. It is high time that our Gen Z generation realize the power of our time-tested traditions and not succumb to the temptations of decadent lifestyles blindly imported from the West,” says Dr. Chhatrapati.
It’s time to swap the Burgers for the bajra ki roti, and the donut for the dosa!
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