Mass awareness by doctors and media fails to bring the required change in lifestyle
Dr. Mahesh Fulwani, a senior cardiologist from the city, in conversation with The Live Nagpur, elaborated on the causes of heart attacks in youngsters. There are numerous reasons for the same, out of which the major reason is a bad lifestyle, inappropriate eating habits, and most importantly access to tobacco use. The number of young patients coming with heart attacks has almost doubled. “Earlier I used to see one young patient a week. Now I see 2-3 a week,” he said.
“We as doctors have been reinforcing the need for change from a sedentary lifestyle to exercising, doing yoga, avoiding or minimizing drinking, and most importantly giving up tobacco in any form. But more and more persons (above the age of 15 years) are seen eating kharra, especially in Vidarbha,” he said.
Dr. Mahesh Fulwani
He however added that Post Covid-19, there has been a significant increase in the number of cases of heart attacks in youngsters. The Covid patients have been observed to have more health issues as the virus causes blood clots in the system.”
Dr. Fulwani said that death due to heart attacks and the collapse of patients in gyms cannot be directly related to common causes of heart attacks in youth. “ I have read about four deaths in gyms in the last four months. People collapsing in the gym is a different topic together. The youngsters do over-gyming and take insulin to feed muscles during intense exercise. They also take steroids. All this leads to serious cardiac damage.” Fulwani added.
While concluding the conversation, the senior cardiologist also said “The cases of heart failure in youngsters have increased majorly in the last 5 years. In youngsters, men are more vulnerable to cardiac arrests than women. The chances of cardiac arrest in women are high after the age of 40-45 years that is after menopause starts. I strongly feel and request to every youngster to improve their lifestyle by actually following the rituals which were adapted by their ancestors.”
Meanwhile, Dr. Sameet Pathak, a cardiac surgeon from the city, also told The Live Nagpur “The average age of the incoming patients over the past 10 years has come down. Earlier the patients who would show up were aged 60-65 years but currently, the average age of the patients is 50 years. Youngsters usually have been observed to misinterpret the cardiac illness with acidity resulting in coming late due to neglecting the symptoms such as breathlessness, chest heaviness, discomfort and many more which makes the survival chances less.”
Dr. Sameet Pathak
“Any such symptoms should not be overlooked and should be evaluated immediately by carrying out basic cardiac procedures including ECG, Tread Mill Test, Echo, and blood tests. Usually, cardiac arrest issues occur due to blockage in coronary arteries. If diagnosed late, the heart function or the ejection fraction comes down. Ideally, the ejection fraction of the heart is 60% but post the arrest, it comes down to only 30-35%. Early diagnosis and immediate treatment are required in these cases.”
Pathak concluded by adding “In youngsters, usually a single vessel is only blocked and not all the three. But if the patient is diabetic, chances are high that all three vessels are blocked. Such a high increase in young patients coming with cardiac arrests really amazes me. Almost over 10 years ago, out of 100, only 10 were young patients but now out of 100, every 40-60 patients are youngsters.