The recent demise of famous celebrities like Puneet Rajkumar and Sidharth Shukla at the age of 46 and 40 respectively came as a shock to the film fraternity and the fandom. Even more appalling was the fact that both of these phenomenal actors were reported dead due to cardiac arrests. Cases of cardiac arrests in youth were there from the beginning but are on a rising curve lately, claiming lives of many in their 40s, 30s and even 20s. This alarming statistic calls for an immediate attention on finding out what are reasons that cause this in the youth of this world.
Cardiac arrest also known as sudden cardiac arrest is a cardiac emergency where the heart comes to a standstill. This occurs suddenly, without warning. Cardiac arrest happens when triggered by an electric malfunction and disrupts the heart’s pumping action which stops the blood from flowing to different body parts. The symptoms of cardiac arrests include chest discomfort, shortness of breath, weakness and heart palpitations. If not treated immediately, this malfunction may lead to death. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), using automated defibrillators or even giving compressions to the chest can increase the chance of survival until appropriate medical help arrives.
Heart attacks can increase your chances of cardiac arrests. Not every heart attack leads to cardiac arrests but it is a common cause. Cardiovascular diseases are not something that were recently diagnosed or discovered but existed from time immemorial. The shift of the disease’s target from the older population with pre-existing heart conditions to the younger ones is what welcomed attention. Our lifestyle choices, workout routines, food charts, stress levels contribute to the probabilities of cardiovascular diseases.
The youth population, especially people below the age of 30, do not get any pre-cardiac check ups. Studies show that there are already negligible amounts of blockages in the heart when you reach your twenties because of increased cholesterol and other genetic factors. People tend to go to the gym without any prior heart check ups and they undertake intensive weight training which may increase the thickness of the heart. Along with weight training, taking supplements also affects your cardiac health badly.
Even though you can curb cardiovascular diseases by maintaining a proper, healthy lifestyle, genetics play a major role in it. If there is an ongoing trend of cardiac diseases going on in your family, it is recommended you get an early check up. Researchers have come up with evidence which shows that a larger number of the population are genetically exposed to these diseases, very early in their life. Dr. Sudhir Pillai, a Consultant in Cardiology at Hinduja Hospital, Mumbai says, “this genetic transmission impacts the younger generation roughly about 5-10 years before it affected their parents in the previous generation. When the genetic pattern sets in, there is not much that one can do to prevent cardiovascular diseases completely, but its risk factors can be mitigated.”
Cardiovascular diseases have often been linked to high stress and anxiety levels. High cortisol levels from long-term stress can lead to high cholesterol levels, blood sugar and the increased risk of hypertension, all of which are common risk factors for heart diseases. Young people undergo a lot of stress due to the pressure of performance in the workplace, stress associated due to lifestyle which leads to unhealthy habits such as smoking, drinking and junk eating. This in turn causes damage to the heart leading to cases of heart attacks, cardiac arrests or arrhythmia ( improper beating of the heart)
As the age old saying goes, “prevention is better than cure.” Screening is a very important precaution measure that should be taken to avoid cardiac diseases. An annual cardiac check up and comprehensive screening test including blood sugar, cholesterol levels, lipid profiles, blood tests and good stress tests should be taken at least once in a year. Risk factors like diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels should be addressed and treated at the right time. Most importantly, healthy food habits and lifestyle is the key to maintaining a healthy heart.