The entire nation was shook by the news of sudden demise of Bollywood actor Inder Kumar. The even more shocking fact is that the actor was hale and hearty and yet he suffered cardiac arrest at just an age of 44. This incident has brought the attention to alarming state of heart health in India. According to a survey, in every 33 seconds a person dies in India due to heart attack. Even while you’re reading this story, there might be a number of people losing their lives to cardiac issues. India witnesses 30 million of heart cases every year, which is not an impressive number to be precise.
With the current numbers, India will soon become the nation to have highest number of heart disease cases in the world. Another shocking report by Indian Heart Association says that out of all heart attacks in India, 50% take place in people below 50 years of age and 25% of them take place in people under 40 years of age. So, what is the reason behind the deteriorating heart health of India. Let’s try to find the answer.
According to Dr. Nilesh Gautam, Interventional Cardiologist at Asian Heart Institute, Mumbai, several reasons including lifestyle is the root cause behind heart issues in young population.
- No preference to health in India. We often ignore the warning signs and continue to exert pressure on our heart even when it’s calling for help.
- The working population lack the time to exercise. Most of the people in India have packed schedule, working in a 9 to 6 job.
- The action-packed schedule and deadlines leaves our mind and body overworked. Increasing level of stress is directly related to fluctuating blood pressure, which further heightens the risk of cardiovascular problems.
- Over-dependence on junk food is another cause behind increasing heart attacks in India. According to Canadian scientists, junk food causes a third of all heart attack in the world. Fast food which usually contains fried and salty food contributes largely to degrading heart health.
- Smoking and Alcohol is the increasing craze among the young generation, despite knowing the fact that these two lifestyle habits are heightening the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Smoking increases fatty build-ups in arteries and also a major cause of coronary heart disease, which is a leading cause of heart attack. Excessive drinking of alcohol raises blood pressure which exerts the pressure on blood vessels increasing the risk of strokes.
In majority of the cases, people overlook the early signs of developing heart disease. People often turn to their doctors when the situation has already gotten out of hands. Here are the warning signs of heart attack which shouldn’t be ignored.
- Uncomfortable pain or pressure in the center of the chest.
- Pain and discomfort in both the arms, back, neck and jaw.
- Cold sweat, nausea and light-headedness.
- Pain in left side of the chest while walking, relief when walking ceases.
- Frequently upset digestion. People often ignore this sign and most of the times it goes undiagnosed.
- Fatigue and reduced stamina
Thankfully, these conditions are totally avoidable. If you make a promise to yourself to improve the quality of your lifestyle and dedicating an hour of the day to your health, you can cut the risk by half. Here’s what you can do.
- Try to walk as much as you can. If not much, then make it a point to walk at least 10,000 steps a day.
- If your office is situated in a high-rise building, use the stairs for the first few floors and then use the lift.
- Walk to the metro station or bus stop. If your office is nearby, use a cycle to commute.
- Eat a healthy diet rich in fiber, fruits and vegetables. Cut down animal fat, salt and sugar from your food.
- Restrict the consumption of alcohol and tobacco for your own good.
- Meditate for few minutes a day to reduce stress.
- Read and watch light-hearted humour to reduce anxiety and stress.
- Practice Yoga and aerobics for an hour a day.
In case of a heart attack, lack of knowledge often causes the delay. So identify the symptoms of heart attack and take the required step. Do not PANIC. Call an ambulance. Don’t try to drive yourself. Chew or swallow an aspirin. If the person in front of you is having heart attack then use CPR. Online tutorials are easily available on how to give a CPR. Your little knowledge might save a life someday.