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Rising Heart Attacks Among Young People: Experts Blame?

Heart Attacks Among Young People on the Rise: Experts Attribute It to Covid-19 and WFH Stress

In recent years, there has been an alarming increase in heart attacks among young people. While traditional risk factors like an unhealthy lifestyle, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, smoking, and genetics are known to contribute to heart attacks, recent research suggests that Covid-19 and work-from-home-induced stress may also play a significant role.

A study by Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles revealed that deaths from heart attacks across all age groups have become more common in the US since the pandemic. People between the ages of 25 and 44 have seen a 29.9% increase in heart attack deaths over the first two years of the pandemic. Doctors in India have also observed a similar trend, with younger people suffering from heart attacks by 20% more after Covid-19, primarily due to Covid-resultant clotting and damage to heart muscles.

Experts are advising individuals to take a more holistic approach to their health and lifestyle. Pandemic-induced work-from-home stress, sedentary lifestyles, and obesity are contributing factors to the rise in heart attacks. Therefore, it is crucial to manage stress levels, maintain a healthy weight, engage in regular exercise, and eat a nutritious diet to keep your heart healthy.

If you are concerned about your heart health, it is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional who can assess your individual risk factors and provide personalized recommendations. With the right lifestyle changes, we can prevent heart attacks and live a long and healthy life.

Young Indians at an Increased Risk

According to experts, heart attacks can occur in Indians at least ten years earlier than their Western counterparts. While the average age group for heart attack patients used to be between 55 and 65, younger patients in their 20s and 30s are now experiencing myocardial infarction, as stated by Dr. Vishal Rastogi, Director of Interventional Cardiology and Head of the Advanced Heart Failure Program at Fortis Escorts Heart Institute.

It is often misunderstood as acidity or muscle pain, making it even more concerning as heart attacks can have a more catastrophic effect on younger people due to the sudden blockage and lack of natural collateral channels. Warning signs such as central chest pain or heaviness, pain in the jaw, left arm, or upper abdomen, and cold sweats should never be ignored, according to Dr. Rastogi.

Are excessive workouts to blame?

Although Sushmita Sen credits regular workouts as one of the things that helped her survive her heart attack, experts warn that moderation is key. Dr. Vishal Rastogi, Director of Interventional Cardiology and Head of the Advanced Heart Failure Program at Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, cautions that many people have started exercising excessively during the pandemic, which could cause underlying blocks to manifest as a heart attack during exercise. Therefore, before beginning any exercise regimen, it is essential to get a heart check-up to determine whether heavy exercise is safe for them.

It is important to assess underlying factors such as diabetes or high blood pressure that can trigger a heart attack during excessive exercise, according to Dr. Sanjeev Gera, Director of Cardiology at Fortis Hospital. He suggests getting an exercise prescription before starting a workout routine, particularly for those who have been sedentary for an extended period. Starting with walks and cardio before progressing to weight-training is recommended.

Yoga for your heart

To alleviate stress and improve overall well-being, there are several practices one can adopt, such as breathing exercises and yoga asanas. Tiger breathing and ankle stretch breathing are two beneficial breathing exercises that one can practice regularly. Additionally, certain yoga asanas like Tadasana, Ardhakati Chakrasana, Vrikshasana, Bhujangasana, and Vakrasana can help reduce stress levels.

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