Cuttack- Local doctors have recorded an increase in the cases of heart attack amongst the younger population. 15% of total cases of heart diseases are observed amongst individuals below the age of 40 years. High level of bad cholesterol is the key risk factor and city cardiologists advise to cut the intake of dairy products, refined sugar & flour, bakery products because these foods are rich in trans fats. Stress at work, sedentary lifestyle, lack of exercise, intake of trans-fatty food lead to the formation of bad cholesterol and also make citizens more prone to other risk factors of heart diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and obesity.
According to Dr. Hrudananda Mishra, Cardiologist, KIIMS Hospital& Retired HOD, Department of Cardiology, SCB Medical College “Heart diseases are now striking younger men & women in their 30s and 40s due to sedentary lifestyle and stress at work. Stress boosts blood cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugar, and blood pressure. These are the common risk factors which plays a critical role in the upsurge of a heart attack. High bad cholesterol levels are making these young people vulnerable to heart attack and other coronary artery diseases. It is imperative for people with high cholesterol levels to follow a healthy lifestyle, which includes healthy eating and exercise on regular basis. Also, there are medicines available to treat high cholesterol levels such as Statins, which are extremely effective to lower the blood cholesterol in patients suffering from heart diseases.”
Commenting on the rise in cases of coronary heart disease below the age of 40, Dr. Dipak Ranjan Das, Cardiologist, Teaching and Practicing at SCB Medical College and Hospital said, “These days we are getting patients as young as 25 years, who are coming to us with Heart attack. Young patients in my OPD, if compared to last year has increased by almost 15-20%. I recently treated a final year engineering student, aged 24, who had a major heart attack. Tests done to assess the damage to his heart revealed that his LDL levels i.e. the bad cholesterol were extremely high. While he does not have a family history of any heart conditions or hypertension, however due to bad lifestyle habits, consumption of junk food, lack of exercise, and also stress, gradually led to the current complication. It is recommended to follow a balanced diet and regular exercise. Currently, statins are the best medicines to decrease the bad cholesterol levels and significantly lowers your risk of developing cardiovascular diseases like heart attack.”
Indians suffer from heart diseases at least 10 years before the western population. Contrary to general perception that heart diseases only affect in the old age, 50% of heart attacks in India occur before the age of 50-55. Indians have this added risk because of our genetic predisposition, lifestyle, diet which is rich in carbohydrates & fats and lack of physical activity/exercise. High levels of bad cholesterol in blood has no signs or symptoms, and many people do not realize they have it. Therefore, it is advised to do a routine checkup.
Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the major cause of deaths in India and high levels of cholesterol is the key reason behind the high rates of CVD, suggests a 2018 WHO report. The world organization has set the goal to reduce non-communicable diseases like heart attack and failure by 25% by 2025 and educate citizens about the ill-effects of high cholesterol – key to improve the quality of their life.