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Heart attacks rising among young in India

Heart attacks rising among young in India
At conclusion of Youth Week, experts urge preventive measures to reduce numbers

By Ahmad Adil

NEW DELHI (AA) - Experts in India have urged strong measures to prevent the number of rising heart attacks in the younger population in the country.

At the end of Youth Week, that concludes Saturday, health experts said over the years, they have seen an increase in patients suffering heart attacks at a younger age.

Rajesh Vijayvergiya, a top cardiologist in northern India, told Anadolu Agency that cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in India and its contribution to mortality is rising.

"Sedentary lifestyles have been associated with at least a 1.5-fold elevation in the risk of heart disease," he said, adding that 5% of individuals subjected to coronary angiography at his hospital are younger than 40 years of age.

"We have seen patients with heart attacks at the age of 25-30 years, whose main risk factors are smoking and increased body weight," he said.


- Less physical activity

Vijayvergiya said the coronavirus pandemic has forced a large number of the working population indoors, further worsening physical inactivity.

"The number of people working for long hours is also increasing," he said. "The prevalence has been increasing since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, as teleworking has become the norm in many industries, often blurring the boundaries between home and work," he said.

He said a significant percentage of the adult population had gained weight in the last two years of the pandemic.

"The reason is mostly due to physical inactivity. Regular physical activity reduces the risk of obesity, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and overall cardiovascular risk," he said, adding that smoking in young individuals also increases the risk of a heart attack.

Significant risk factors for heart attacks include smoking, hypertension, obesity, physical inactivity and diabetes, Vijayvergiya said and added adopting a healthy lifestyle and timely identification of warning features can play an important role.

"There are multiple aspects involved in maintaining good health,” he said. “Once a person becomes aware of certain diseases like hypertension, diabetes or any heart disease, appropriate care in the form of self-monitoring and strict adherence to the necessary health advice are paramount.”

He also said that physical fitness and regular exercise are important aspects of physical and mental well-being.

"My suggestion would be to avoid smoking and excess alcohol intake, and one should continue to remain physically active. Adopt a healthy food style is a must," he said.


- Strong preventive measures

K. Srinath Reddy, president of the Public Health Foundation of India think tank, told Anadolu Agency that preventive measures are needed to minimize the risk factors associated with heart attacks.

He said factors, including smoking and high blood pressure, are on the increase in general.

"And even though smoking is coming under some control, nevertheless, high blood pressure and stress, diabetes, are all coming."

Reddy said focus should be on prevention.

"We have to take very strong measures to prevent it. High blood pressure is treatable. Tobacco is something that is easily avoidable. Diabetes is also if detected early can be well controlled," he said. "So, we need a strong health system and good primary health care for early detection and continuity of care and long-term follow-ups."

source: News Feed
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