• +91 99300 74447 / +91 98207 37677
Why Younger People Get Heart Attacks
  • Arati Shah

  • 24, Sep. 2020

Why Younger People Get Heart Attacks

Heart diseases are one of the major causes of mortality amongst people in India and also all around the globe. Cardiovascular failures were once perceived as an “old man’s disease”. However, heart attacks are becoming more common in younger people today, especially women. Earlier, the first event of heart attack used to occur at the age of 65 or 70. Now, people in their 20s, 30s and 40s are more often falling victim to these cardiovascular attacks. 

Previously, ageing was considered to be one of the greatest risk factors for heart attacks. Today, there are several other factors that increase the chances of having heart diseases. So, let’s understand the added risk factors and the changes which have occurred in the last two decades that hasled younger people to experience heart attacks. 

Studies attribute this new development to the change in lifestyle over the past decades. Too much consumption of fast food, processed food, aerated beverages and a sedentary lifestyle with decreased physical activity levelshas increased the incidence of cardiovascular diseases in young individuals. Also, increased screen time, either for professional reasons or for leisure has made each one of us move less. Poor diet and lifestyle choices have contributed to weight and obesity issues and also to the increasing incidence of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure or hypertension among youngstersThis is compounded by other factors such as smoking, family history of premature heart attack or cardio vascular diseases, high cholesterol, substance abuse, and alcohol consumption.  

While we can’t change risk factors such as age, gender, race and family history, we can definitely modify our behaviours that increase our risk for cardiovascular disease. To begin with, it would be advisable for all to know their health numbers. Regular tracking of one’s BMI along with the best diet for weight loss can help in keeping the weight in check. Blood pressure and cholesterol (HDL, LDL and triglycerides) should be monitored periodically.  

What can really be of utmost importance is paying attention to following lifestyle factors: 

  • Nutrition: Focus should be on eating a balance diet and including all food groups. Include whole-grain or high-fiber foods, variety of vegetables and fruits, nuts, oilseeds and lean meat in the diet. Limit the consumption of red meat and choose foods that are low in saturated and trans fats, sugar and salt. A clinical nutritionist can help to chart out a diet plan which is low in fat and low in cholesterol which decreases the chances of having a heart attack or other heart disease complications. 

  • Physical activity: Try to be active for a minimum of 30 minutes on most or all days of the week. You may start small by going for a leisurely walk or just take the steps instead of the elevator and then gradually building more physical activities into your regimen like playing a sport, joining an aerobic workout class or a dance class etc. 

  • Don’t smoke and limit alcohol consumption: Smoking continues to be one of the largest contributors to heart disease, so quit smoking. Excessive alcohol intake should be avoided. 

Occurrence of heart attack is a very serious event at any age and should be addressed carefully. Indian nutritionists strongly recommend the Indian eating pattern which is high in whole grains, lentils, fruits, vegetables vegetable oils and spices to lower the risk of heart attack. Seek the help of the best dietitian in Mumbai to design your diet plan.