A 20-year-old college student from Matunga, who suffered from diabetes, died of a heart attack on October 31. The commerce student was obese and a smoker. The case, said doctors, highlights the alarming incidence of young diabetics at risk of developing complications such as hypertension and cardiac ailments. “Though rare, young diabetics are prone to heart attacks,” said Dr Anil Bhoraskar.
The youth was brought to Dr Bhoraskar’s clinic in Dadar panting and sweating by a friend on October 31. Dr Bhoraskar conducted an electro-cardiogram (ECG) examination, which indicated abnormal heart activity. “His reports were abnormal. I realised that he had an impending heart attack,” said Dr Bhoraskar, a diabetologist.
Dr Bhoraskar said the youth died while being shifted to the hospital. The college-going youth first visited Dr Bhoraskar’s clinic nine months ago with propblems of excessive urination and infection in his private parts, both symptoms of Type 2 diabetes. His fasting blood sugar level was 250 mg/dL. The normal level should be less than 100 mg/dL.
“At 5.2 inches, he weighed 80 kg with a huge girth. His physical activity was nil. He loved fast food and fried food. He was hooked to the TV and computer,” said Dr Bhoraskar. His body mass index (BMI) was 32. Anyone with a BMI of 30 and above is categorised as obese. He ignored doctor’s advice to follow a strict diet. “His parents live abroad and there was no one to track his bad eating habits,” said Dr Bhoraskar.
“Twenty is a very young age to get a heart attack, but it is not unknown. Smoking when one suffers from diabetes is a deadly combination,” said Dr Shashank Joshi endocrinologist at Lilavati Hospital.
Joshi said parents should check for dark patches on their children’s neck, particularly if children are overweight. “It is one of the signs of insulin resistance and diabetes in the young,” said Dr Joshi.