We’ve all been left wondering if the sudden Cardiac Arrest that has been occurring in people under 45 in recent years is a result of COVID-19 messing with our bodies, or if there are other factors at play.
To learn more about the link between poor heart health in young people, we spoke directly with Dr. Ramakanta Panda, the world’s top heart surgeon and Chairman of the Asian Heart Institute in Mumbai.
A worrying tendency is present
A disturbing trend is that more and more young adults are coming to the Asian Heart Institute with serious heart conditions. Two things make it worrying. First of all, heart attack complications are more common in young people with heart disease. Second, it serves as a wake-up call that everyone, regardless of age, should prioritize heart wellness.
Given our demanding lifestyles and the prevalence of lifestyle disorders like diabetes, obesity, and hypertension, heart disease can strike at any time. It’s time to adopt a different mentality and focus on protecting our heart health by taking preventative steps rather than living a lifestyle that promotes early heart disease. Let’s prioritize heart health early on so that we can avoid problems later on and live better lives.
Are today’s youth more susceptible to heart attack?
We lost people to heart attacks like Raj Kaushal, Sidharth Shukla, and Puneeth Rajkumar, to name a few. This was after they all appeared to lead active, healthy lifestyles. What does it reveal about the hearts of today’s youth? Dr. Panda explains, “There are several reasons why heart disease is a growing worry for many Indians, especially young people, compared to a few decades ago.
Lack of exercise, poor diet choices with high carbohydrate and low fiber meals such processed foods, sweets, smoking, tobacco use, bad lifestyle choices including late nights, little sleep, binge watching, environmental pollution, and genetic susceptibility all contribute to this problem.
This has caused many young people to develop diabetes and hypertension without ever being identified, silently raising their risk of heart disease. It is a hidden threat that frequently goes unrecognized until it is too late.
It’s crucial to remember that you can have a cardiac issue even if you don’t experience any symptoms. Regular cardiac screenings are therefore advised, especially if you have a family history of the condition or any of the other risk factors listed above. These tests can aid in the early detection of any issues, enabling correct treatment before serious cardiac damage occurs.
What endangers the health of your heart?
Your risk of having heart disease may be impacted by several risk factors. These conditions include diabetes, high blood pressure, using tobacco products, having high cholesterol, living a sedentary lifestyle, having a family history of heart disease, being overweight or obese, eating poorly, and experiencing stress.
To maintain heart health and lower the risk of heart disease, it is crucial to be aware of these risk factors and take action to manage them, according to Dr. Panda.
Do not disregard these heart health warning symptoms
If you encounter any of the following symptoms, you should contact a doctor right away because they can be indicators of a potential heart condition.
Chest pain, pressure, tightness, or discomfort (angina): Whether the pain is slight or severe, if you experience any discomfort or pain in your chest with effort, you should see a doctor right away.
Breathlessness: If you find yourself having trouble breathing, particularly during physical activity or even while at rest, this could be a sign of a cardiac condition and should not be disregarded.
Unexpected pain or discomfort in the neck, jaw, throat, upper abdomen, or back, particularly if it’s accompanied by other symptoms, maybe a sign of a cardiac condition and should be examined by a doctor.
When you experience odd pain, stiffness, or numbness in your arms, particularly when you’re under physical or emotional stress, it’s important to have it checked out because it could be an indication of heart-related issues.
Heart health and COVID are related
Numerous research have attempted to determine how COVID affects heart health. “COVID-19 has left its mark on the heart, causing a variety of issues,” continues Dr. Panda.
To begin with, during the acute stage of COVID, the virus’s inflammation might increase blood’s propensity to clot, obstructing the flow of blood to the heart and potentially resulting in heart attacks as well as myocarditis.
Long-term heart muscle dysfunction and irregular heartbeat appear to be present. People who already have cardio-metabolic health conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity are more likely to experience COVID-19 problems.
It serves as a sharp reminder of the delicate connection between our heart health and our general health. Prioritizing health is essential, especially heart health.