New Delhi: Heart disease knows no age boundaries. Actor Sidharth Shukla’s untimely demise has once again brought to our attention the rising cases of heart attacks among young people.
For the unversed, Sidharth died of a massive heart attack on September 2. He was only 40. Prior to Sidharth, in June, Mandira Bedi’s husband and filmmaker Raj Kaushal succumbed to cardiac arrest at the age of 49.
The year of 2021 also saw the passing away of ‘Bandish Bandits’ fame Amit Mistry due to a heart attack. Former Indian cricket captain Sourav Ganguly, too, suffered a heart attack in January this year. He underwent an angioplasty and had two stents implanted to open up his blocked cardiac arteries.
Such cases have made people ponder over why there is an upsurge in heart attacks in the younger age group.
Explaining factors responsible for the increased heart ailments among youngsters, Shwetha Bhatia, a registered dietician with the Indian Dietetic Association, told ANI, “When you talk about heart attacks, they can occur even in people who are healthy. People say how someone can get a heart attack who does not smoke and drink. One should understand that there are many reasons… it could be because of some defects which people are not aware of, it could be because of having hypertension, it could be because of a bad diet. It is not only related to alcohol or smoking.” According to Dr Rahul Arora, MD, DM (Cardiology) Consultant, Interventional Cardiology, Felix Hospital, Noida, most heart diseases are attributable to cigarette smoking.
“Cigarette smoking is 90 per cent responsible for heart diseases. People should understand that smoking is extremely dangerous for their health. If they want their heart to be healthy then they should quit smoking at any cost. Even one cigarette per day causes a risk of heart disease. Young people can die. Though young people seem to be fit, they are not actually fit,” he said.
He added, “Due to the pandemic, many people have become lazy. Many have stopped doing exercises. The corona event is also highly responsible for increased heart ailments among people.” Rahul also shared how Sidharth Shukla’s sudden demise has resulted in more people visiting him for finding out whether they have any heart disease or not.
“It’s shocking that it took the death of the young actor to make people take heart-related health issues seriously. Many people visited me after the demise of Sidharth. They underwent many tests to know whether they are dealing with any heart disease or not. We should never neglect our health,” he urged.
While speaking more about heart ailments in the young population, Shwetha emphasised the need of making children aware of the importance of a healthy heart. She also highlighted how parents should give special attention to obese kids.
“As soon as you’re born, the clogging process of arteries starts slowly and steadily. These effects become evident after we turn 30. If you look at the age group, even kids need to be careful about heart. Today, obese kids are dealing with so many diseases. Parents need to understand that right from childhood, they need to look into these factors. If the child is overweight, they need to check their cholesterol levels and sugar levels….from birth onwards itself, one needs to take care of his/her heart,” she added.
ANI also got in touch with fitness coach Yogesh Bbhateja to know about how one can look after their heart in the best manner possible.
“You don’t have to really go hard on your heart to become more healthy. It’s absolutely okay to relax and calm down. If my days are long and have a lot of workload, I make sure I do not work out that day…. I give rest to my system. In order to look fit, you can’t necessarily work out for hours. Your body, too, deserves a break. Take proper sleep, eat healthy, exercise whenever you can. Even if you work out four times a week then that’s also fine,” he said.
Diet also plays a major role in lowering the risk of heart diseases.
“Go low on carbs. Most people think that fat is related to heart disease, but we have enough studies and research, which show that fat is not the problem. It’s the carbohydrates… low carb diets definitely are preferred if you’re trying to lose fat or you’re trying to manage your sugar. You know, diabetes is one of the complications with heart problems….carbohydrates come from not only sugar, but it also comes from cereal, potatoes..so total carbs can be cut down. One should make sure of having enough proteins, vitamins and minerals..these all act as antioxidants,” Shwetha informed.
Someone’s demise should not be the reason for one to start looking after their health, and on this World Heart Day, let’s take a pledge of doing everything possible to keep the heart beating.