Sonali Phogat dies of heart attack; experts on what causes sudden cardiac arrest | Health - Hindustan Times

Sonali Phogat dies of heart attack; experts on what causes sudden cardiac arrest

Aug 23, 2022 04:33 PM IST

Sonali Phogat, BJP leader and former Bigg Boss contestant died of heart attack in Goa at the age of 43. Experts discuss common causes of sudden cardiac arrest and heart attack.

Sonali Phogat, BJP leader and former Bigg Boss contestant died of heart attack in Goa at the age of 43 on Tuesday (August 23). A spate of sudden heart attacks in young personalities from the entertainment industry in the recent past has sent shockwaves across the country. Sidharth Shukla (40), Puneeth Rajkumar (44), KK (53) and Brahma Swaroop Mishra (36) are among the young people who showed no signs and symptoms of a heart disease before succumbing to heart attack and some of them achieved one fitness milestone after the other inspiring their fans. (Also read: Sidharth Shukla to KK: 10 celebs who died of heart attack)

Experts are of the view that there are many factors at play as far as heart attacks are concerned
Experts are of the view that there are many factors at play as far as heart attacks are concerned

Experts are of the view that there are many factors at play as far as heart attacks are concerned from chronic health issues like diabetes, blood pressure to lifestyle factors like drinking, smoking and unhealthy diet combined with excessive stress that ails the heart and makes it susceptible to cardiac issues.

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"We are having a pandemic of sudden cardiac arrests in young. By young means people at the page of 30 to 50 years. What could be the possible reasons for sudden cardiac arrest in young ranges from loneliness, stress, mental trauma, smoking, alcohol etc, also lack of exercise, proper diet. Youngest person who we have seen has had a heart attack is a 17-year-old guy," says Dr Ruchit Shah, Interventional Cardiologist, Masina Hospital, Mumbai.


"A heart attack occurs due to a sudden blockage of the coronary artery which are supplying blood to the heart muscle. The sudden blockages are due to the formation of blood clot. On top of atherosclerotic or cholesterol plaque which can be present within the wall of the coronary artery. These cholesterol plaques are formed over a period of time due to a very poor lifestyle, a sedentary lifestyle, a person is having smoking habits or person is eating junk food and also the major conclusion if the person is having a significant history of heart disease or having a disease," says Dr Atul Mathur, Executive Director - Interventional Cardiology & Chief of Cath Lab, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, Okhla Road, New Delhi.


"Unfortunate situation of our country where we are losing young people due to heart attacks which goes unnoticed. The heart attacks in younger population are increasing every year. The major causes for heart attack in Indians is they are genetically prone to develop heart attack, adoption of western lifestyle which leads to change in mutation hence we are prone to heart attack," says Dr Ravi Gupta, Consultant Cardiologist, Wockhardt Hospital, Mumbai Central.

"The factor for a heart attack could sometimes be extreme mental stress or unaccustomed physical activities, abnormalities in heart rhythm, and problems with the electrical signals that control the heartbeat. It is important to consult with a doctor immediately: chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea or vomiting, light-headedness or dizziness," says Dr Mathur.


"Second reason is diabetes, as these patients have 4 times more chances of developing heart related issues in comparison to non- diabetic patient. Many diabetic patients don’t feel any chest pain hence it’s difficult to be alert," says Dr Gupta.


Dr Gupta says another reason behind increase in heart attacks is the habit of smoking, and drinking alcohol as they can be injurious to the vital organ and can lead to several health issues including that of heart.


Another reason of heart diseases in young is stress as per Dr Gupta as it has a direct effect on heart.


Many have died of heart attack in Covid times as it is not only a disease of lungs but of inflammation as well, says Dr Gupta.

"We all know that sudden cardiac arrests have increased particularly after Covid pandemic. There is a theory that states that Covid after 2 years of infection can lead to precipitation of heart attacks," says Dr Shah.


"We also know that there is an entity called Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy which can lead to sudden cardiac arrest in the young. Time and again, athletes, have had sudden cardiac arrests while playing on the field," adds Dr Shah.


"There is an increasing incidence of young people and adults suffering from comorbidities like obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and bad lifestyles and habits, e.g., smoking and sedentary life. Such people and now doing high-intensity workouts are especially vulnerable to getting post-workout heart attacks. This is especially important for those who have a history of heart problems or if it runs in their family," says Dr (Col) Monik Mehta, Chief of Cardiology, Manipal Hospital, Gurugram.


Dr Ravi Gupta, Consultant Cardiologist, Wockhardt Hospital, Mumbai Central says even if you don’t have any symptoms, you must check diabetes and blood pressure regularly as at times when sugar or BP is high, you’re not aware of it and initially these two things give no prior symptoms. "For keeping your heart health proper, you must take stress test, 2D Echo, Cholesterols and ECG," says Dr Gupta.


Experts says heart attacks and sudden cardiac arrest can happen at any age nowadays and it is most important to identify preventable causes of heart diseases from smoking, drinking, alcohol, mental anxiety, stress, etc.

"Apart from that you can do ECG at the age of 40 and once in a while. If there are any symptoms go to closest hospital," says Dr Shah.

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