Indians under 40 increasingly prone to heart attacks

ANI | Updated: Sep 29, 2017 12:29 IST

New Delhi [India], Sep 29 (ANI): In what is perhaps an eye-opener to the increasing incidence of heart diseases in India, statistics indicate that about 50%?of Indians under the age of 55 suffer from heart attacks.

About 25%?of all heart attacks occur under the age of 40.

While life expectancy has increased, thanks to advances in medical science, what cannot be ignored is the fact that people are increasingly falling prey to sudden heart attacks at a younger age.

Men and women are equally at a risk for heart diseases. While it is a common thought among people that men are the usual suspects in a heart attack, women need to watch out too as the symptoms may not be very apparent in them. What is more alarming is that many people experiencing pain in the chest confuse it with gastritis or similar problems. This prevents them from seeking immediate medical help thereby delaying diagnosis.

Speaking about this, Dr. Viveka Kumar, Senior Consultant Interventional Cardiologist and Director of the Cath Lab, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Saket said, "A heart attack occurs when a blood clot is formed in one of the blood vessels responsible for supplying blood to the heart. A sedentary lifestyle including consumption of unhealthy food can lead to a host of diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and hypertension. These are some of the common risk factors behind a heart attack."

"Lack of knowledge about the symptoms of heart attack often causes delay in handling the situation. This can aggravate the damage and even prove to be fatal in some cases. Recognizing the symptoms at an early stage and administering immediate medical attention can help in saving many lives. Apart from anything else, it is imperative to bring about certain lifestyle changes, which can go a long way in preventing heart attacks."

During a heart attack, a person can experience a sharp and constricting pain in the center of the chest. This radiates to the left side of the body, particularly the left arm, to the back, and between the two shoulder blades. It can also spread to the chin and cause jaw discomfort. All this can make the person sweat profusely, a condition known as diaphoresis.

Adding further, Dr. Kumar, said, "Timely diagnosis and treatment is imperative during a heart attack. The door-to-balloon time when a heart attack patient arrives in the emergency room until angioplasty with stent is performed to restore blood flow also needs to be considered by physicians. It is therefore important that physicians be trained to recognize any such symptoms right at the onset such that the appropriate guidance can be given without losing out on precious time."

There are many treatment options today which can help in preventing any further damage to the heart post a heart attack. Some of these include thrombolysis, angioplasty and stent implantation, bypass surgery, defibrillators, and implantable cardiac defibrillators. Most of these are carried out in the cardiovascular system, are less painful, have less risk of infection, and take less time for recovery.

Here are few things one can do as first aid for a person who has suffered a heart attack.

- Call for emergency medical help rather than resorting to self-administered treatments, as this can prove fatal.

- Make the person lie down flat on a firm surface and loosen clothing. Clear the airway and allow him to take a few deep breaths.

- Check the pulse on any one side of the neck for regularity.

- Give the person oxygen if he/she is breathless.

- If the person looks nauseous, make him/her lie down to one side and throw up. This will prevent expulsions from entering other parts of the body.

- Raise both the legs of the patient to improve the supply of blood to the heart.

- Perform CPR if the person is unconscious. It is a good idea to get trained in basic CPR for any such emergency. (ANI)