Among South-Asian people, including Indians, there is increased risk of heart problems in the younger age. It has been found that the most susceptible age group is 20 to 40. It is a major concern to prevent heart attacks as it may lead to further serious complications. Our heart is a pumping organ that provides blood to every part of our body and works continuously throughout our life without any rest. A heart attack differs from a heart failure as in the case of heart attack the blood supply to the part of heart is improper due to narrowing of blood vessels whereas in the case of heart failure, the heart is unable to pump the blood adequately to different parts of the body.
There is a major concern prevalent these days about the sudden ‘ heart attack’ engulfing the lives of young adults.
The reasons are:
- Mental Stress and depression: Mental stress upsurge is one of the reasons for heart attack as the young adults are under stress right from the schools to the coaching to the national level entrance exams. The toxic working environment, financial incompetence, job security, social media abuse and distance from family, there is no way to deal with the stress among young adults. Chronic stress causes inability to concentrate on work, resulting in weight gain and deposition of cholesterol in arteries resulting in narrowing of blood vessels, improper blood supply to the heart resulting in heart attack.
- Sedentary lifestyle: Professionals working in MNCs and blue-chip companies devote their full time sitting on the chair which reduces the physical work and increases the chances of cardiac problems.
- Unhealthy food habits: The junk food which is high in fat and sugars triggers the increased levels of LDL cholesterol and sugar in our body which leads to atherosclerosis (narrowing of blood vessels by deposition of cholesterol) thereby increasing in blood pressure and increased chances of heart attack.
- Smoking and alcohol consumption: Nicotine causes positive chronotropic action on heart resulting in faster heart beats and sudden increase in blood pressure whereas excessive alcohol consumption is related to body fat disposition and increased cholesterol levels.
- Self-medication: The use of medicines such as pain killers, health supplements, steroids by body builders increases the chance of cardiac problems.
- Love and relationships:Young adults are worried about their relationships and partner demands. This insecurity results in psychologic abnormalities and heart problems.
Lifestyle modification- A key to healthy heart
By modifying the lifestyle, you can make your heart healthy. Just follow these points.
- Exercise and Yoga: Exercise daily or at least 5 times a week. It may include brisk walking, cycling, swimming, gym, or any outdoor sports. Yogasanas help to reduce stress such as deep breathing calms your mind.
- Heathy eating habits: Include a balanced diet in your meals. Eat green leafy vegetables, fruits, fresh dairy products, nuts, eggs, soy products, lentils, whole grain items. Avoid refined wheat flour, fast foods, deep fried items and sugary beverages.
- Quit smoking, vaping, nicotine products and alcohol.
- Monitor your blood pressure, blood glucose level particularly glycosylated hemoglobin if you are a prediabetic at regular intervals.
- Discover the cause and manage your stress: Indulge in your hobbies, spent time with your family, talk about your problems with your loved ones. Avoid overuse of social networking sites, spent time for yourself, plan for a trip into the nature. Discover the causes of stress and try to avoid them. Always ask the help from a medical practitioner as a priority and never indulge in self-medication.
Start caring for your heart from today itself. No matter you are young or aged, lean, or overweight there is always a chance of improvement. Always remember there is your family who loves you and care for you. Stay aware and be healthy.
– Bharat Gupta
M.Pharm, MBA(Ex) PGCHM IIM Calcutta