Previously, heart attack was commonly seen in people aged 55 or older but recently we have lost celebrities like Sidharth Shukla, Puneeth Rajkumar, Raj Kaushal who were in their early 40s. All of them were following a good fitness routine, which is believed as an essential element for preventing heart ailments. Furthermore, doctors across the world are trying to bring attention to the soaring cases of heart related ailments – in fact heart is the second most common affected organ after lungs by COVID.
Dr. Rajesh Thachathodiyl, Professor and Head, Department of Adult Cardiology, Amrita Hospitals, Kochi shared, “Earlier, heart attacks were known as an ageing disease and usually, people above the age of 60 were prone to it. But the scenario has changed over the past years and we are witnessing an increasingly young population falling prey to this. Interestingly, you may look very fit and healthy from the outside, but inside your body there can be diseases arising which you are totally unaware of. I see around 200 young patients in our OPD in a month with cardiac issues.”
For the unversed, a heart attack happens when the blood flow to the heart gets suddenly blocked. This results in lack of oxygen and if not treated immediately, leads to death of heart muscles. Also known as myocardial infarction, the symptoms of heart attack can vary in people.
Risks of over exercising
Dr. Sanjay Mittal Director Clinical and Preventive Cardiology, Heart Institute, Medanta shares some signs of over exercising that people should not ignore:
– If a person feels dizzy or light headed while exercising, get yourself evaluated
– If you are hypertensive (extreme hypertension), ensure you are taking steps to control your BP before indulding in heavy exercises
– If you have a family history of a young person who had collapsed without warning, it may indicate that you are carrying a gene that predisposes you to certain collapse
– If you have chest discomfort, undue breathlessness, get yourself evaluated
– Performance enhancing drugs can lead to cardiac irregularities
Here are some common FAQs related to heart attacks:
- What causes heart attack?
Heart attack occurs when one or more of your coronary arteries becomes blocked. Extreme slowing of the heart’s rhythm also causes cardiac arrest. Experts say over time, fatty deposits including cholesterol form plaques which subsequently narrow the arteries leading to a condition called atherosclerosis which causes heart attack.
- Is heart attack the same as cardiac arrest?
Though remotely they are the same, but medically they are differently diagnosed and different treatments are used for them.
- Can stress cause sudden heart attack?
Stress causes an increase in blood pressure, inflammation which are lethal for the heart. These conditions increase the risk of cardiac arrest.
- What are the common heart attack symptoms?
-Tightness, pain, or an aching sensation in your chest or arms spreading to neck, jaw or back-Nausea-Indigestion-Heartburn -Abdominal pain-Shortness of breath-Cold sweat-Fatigue-Lightheadedness or sudden dizziness
- What are some of the most common heart attack myths?
Myth: Heart attack and cardiac arrest are the same; Fact: Cardiac arrest is an electrical problem and heart attack is a circulation problem.
- Myth: Heart diseases are caused by a poor lifestyle and thin and active people are safe
Fact: Heart diseases can happen due to genetic factors apart from some other factors. In the recent past we have seen some of the fittest people succumbing to heart attack. Over exercising and stressing the heart more than normal is also being seen as a cause of heart attack.
- Myth: Heart disease is a man’s disease!
Fact: Heart ailments kill as many women as men. It was believed that the female hormone protects them from heart disease but that’s not true.