Before 30-year-old Sharad (name changed), resident of Anarwala in Dehradun, could be taken to a hospital — after he complained of restlessness and increased heart rate with perspiration — he died. His family members were shattered to have lost the man who was expected to get married in August next year. Doctors informed that he had succumbed to heart attack.
Long gone are the days when cardiovascular illness struck only the elderly. The young generation these days is highly susceptible to heart ailments. Blame it on poor lifestyle, no physical exercise and extreme stress, the generation next is fast giving in to the deadly heart diseases.
Senior cardiologist Dr KB Joshi said, “At least 30% of patients who come to me are youngsters in the age group of 20-40. Heart problems are no more restricted to elder persons in our society.”
Children too are victims. Dr Anurag Rawat of Himalayan Institute of Medical Sciences (HIMS) Jolly Grant said, “In fact not only youngsters, but in today’s world, children are also at increased risk of heart diseases. So there is no age or gender bar left to develop cardiovascular diseases.”
While no figures have been calculated at the state level to estimate the number of people with cardiovascular diseases, experts claim that out of existing number of patients in the state, 20% encounter the problem due to hereditary traits.
Others, however, become susceptible due to reasons discussed below:
With emphasis on academics, computers as well as television, children have lost touch with playing outdoors. Playing in field, cycling, running, hanging with swings are some of the exercises that are needed during growing years of children to keep their heart healthy and safe.
“If parents will not send their children to play outside, how will they get a healthy life? Parents have become so conservative, that they want to see their child sitting at home-no matter if the child is studying, watching TV or using computer. Physical exercise is wiped out of their schedule which is making them soft and vulnerable,” Dr KS Pant, senior physician Doon District Hospital said.
He suggested parents should involve their children in outdoor games like basketball, cricket, football, badminton, table tennis and others that will help in movement of muscles
, nursing calories and releasing excess sweat for a healthy heart.
Poor eating habits
Doctors said unless parents eat healthy food, their kids will not eat it. Unhealthy food comprising of high calories, oil, carbohydrates should be avoided. Lack of seasonal fruits and vegetables in the diet raises risk of heart problems.
“Parents should pick healthy food so that the kids also learn to eat such food. Fast food, fried food and high calorie food will certainly result in heart problems,” Dr Joshi added.
He said if a person continued to eat unhealthy food then over a period of time, fatty substances made of cholesterol, calcium and others get accumulated in the arteries and blocks them. Thus, a heart attack, a stroke and blockage in blood vessels is reported.
Smoking is a direct cause of heart ailments, say experts. Young boys and girls pick up smoking during their early teens but they start having its repercussions in a later age.
“Smoking is directly related to heart disorders. In Uttarakhand, youngsters start smoking in their teens. But, it’s between 20s and 40s that they register heart problems. Around10% of patients I report are less than 30 years. Similarly, 20% of patients I diagnose are less than 40 years. Majority of these patients are active smokers,” Dr Yogendra Singh, senior consultant cardiologist at Fortis Escorts Hospital, Dehradun said.