The sudden death of many young celebrities due to cardiac arrests, in recent months, has brought heart health into the limelight in India. Experts have been drawing attention to the alarming rate of youngsters’ mortality risk due to heart conditions.
At the heel of multiple such shocking news reports also came World Heart Day on September 27, which is dedicated to the cause of creating awareness about heart-related diseases and their prevention.
With the country accounting for least one-fifth of the 17.9 million cardiovascular disease-related deaths globally, especially in the younger generation, India seems to be in a sticky situation. Data suggests that last year, 70% of heart attack deaths occurred in the 30-60 age group, with 19,744 people losing their lives, reported Business Insider.
While people in the age group of 45-60 years were most prone to heart attack deaths, younger people (aged 30-45 years) are second-most prone to the risk.
Youngsters In the Red: Why?
Several health experts have pointed toward sedentary lifestyles, imbalanced diets and high stress amongst this age group as the reason behind deteriorating heart health leading to a spike in incidences of Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA).
The habit of smoking and drinking has also been cited as the reason behind heart-related ailments. Going overboard with health consciousness– over-exercise, crash diets, and protein-filled diets taken without asking qualified professionals– is also detrimental in such cases.
Certain other factors such as genes and low birth weight are also likely culprits for some people. COVID-19 has also emerged as a risk amplifier in terms of heart complications.
Tips For A Happy Heart
Most people can reduce risks to their hearts through small, consistent lifestyle changes. The way to a (healthy) heart is through the stomach: eating whole foods and avoiding processed foods is necessary. Having a balanced diet filled with lean protein, low-sugar fruits, vitamins, and carbs, is equally important. Nutritionists and doctors suggest chickpea, beans, chicken, whole eggs, green and leafy vegetables, curd, and high-fibre whole grains.
Workouts: Physical exercises, albeit followed within the limits of an individual’s body limit, are advised. Appropriate weightlifting and cardio exercises like running and cycling are known to be helpful in keeping heart diseases at bay.
Stress Control: Experts opine that stress can increase inflammation in the body (connected with high blood pressure and lower good cholesterol). Moreover, it can lead to poor sleeping and eating patterns, which, although indirectly, do affect the heart in a major way. Meditation and regular exercise are known to go a long way in helping a person destress.
Building awareness: Sometimes, the main cause behind sudden cardiac arrests and complications is a lack of awareness about warning signals. These include symptoms like unnecessary sweating, fainting, shortness of breath, increased heart rate, numbness in the legs, etc. Taking notice of these and consulting a health professional serves as a stitch in time.