Doctor’s Day: Insights from Best Cardiologists on Heart Attacks in Young Adults

Doctor’s Day: Insights from Best Cardiologists on Heart Attacks in Young Adults

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New Delhi (India), July 1: On Doctor’s Day, we turn our attention to a concerning trend: the rise of heart attacks among young adults. This alarming issue calls for insights from leading cardiologists to understand the underlying causes and preventative measures. Young adults, once considered low-risk for cardiovascular diseases, are increasingly experiencing heart attacks, driven by factors such as stress, poor lifestyle choices, and genetic predispositions. In this article, esteemed cardiologists share their expert opinions on why heart attacks are becoming more common in this age group and provide vital advice on how to mitigate these risks and promote heart health.

Dr. Abhinit Gupta- MD, DM (AIIMS, Delhi) Gold Medalist, FIACM, FSCAI, Senior Consultant Interventional Cardiologist at Regency Health, Kanpur

Dr. Abhinit Gupta, Senior Consultant Interventional Cardiologist at Regency Health, Kanpur, is a renowned expert in his field. After completing his DM Cardiology from AIIMS, New Delhi, he honed his skills at Max Hospital, Saket, before joining Regency Healthcare. His areas of expertise include STEMI care, primary angioplasty, trans-radial interventions, and structural heart disease interventions. Dr. Gupta excels in complex interventions, pacemaker and ICD implantation, peripheral & renal angioplasty, balloon valvotomy and TAVR. Known for his personalized approach and dedication to evidence-based medicine, Dr. Gupta has achieved impressive clinical outcomes for his patients. His contributions to understanding heart failure, acute coronary syndromes, and preventive cardiology have significantly impacted the field. Dr. Gupta strives for improved quality of life and survival for patients with cardiovascular disease, exhibiting leadership and commitment to excellence. His expertise is invaluable in addressing the growing concern of heart attacks in young adults.

Dr. Rajinder Thaploo – MBBS, MD Medicine, DNB Cardiology, Senior Consultant & Interventional Cardiologist at Vivekanand Medical Institution, Palampur, Himachal Pradesh

Dr. Rajinder Thaploo, Senior Consultant & Interventional Cardiologist at Vivekanand Medical Institution, Palampur, Himachal Pradesh, emphasizes the importance of lifestyle changes and regular medical check-ups for maintaining heart health and preventing heart attacks. He advises a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats from fish and nuts while avoiding foods high in saturated and trans fats and controlling carbohydrate intake. Regular exercise, including 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous activity weekly, along with muscle-strengthening exercises, is crucial. Weight management, smoking cessation, and limiting alcohol consumption to one drink a day for women and two for men are essential. Stress management through mindfulness, yoga, meditation, and adequate sleep is also vital. Dr. Thaploo stresses the importance of regular medical check-ups to monitor blood pressure (below 120/80 mm Hg), cholesterol levels (lower LDL, raise HDL), and diabetes (maintain HbA1c below 7%). Regular heart check-ups, including ECGs, are necessary to ensure heart health.

Dr. Lal Daga – MBBS, DNB (Med.), DNB (Card) MNAMS, FESC (International), FEAC, Advanced Cardiology Training Programme (Seoul), Senior Consultant Interventional Cardiologist at Apollo Hospital, Ahmedabad

“Heart attacks among young adults are becoming increasingly prevalent, and it’s a concerning trend,” says Dr. Lal Daga, a renowned cardiologist from Ahmedabad. “The primary causes are often linked to lifestyle factors such as poor diet, lack of exercise, and high-stress levels. Additionally, genetic predispositions and undiagnosed conditions can play significant roles. Young adults must be aware of the symptoms of a heart attack, which can include chest pain, shortness of breath, and sudden dizziness. Preventive measures, such as regular health check-ups, maintaining a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and managing stress, are essential for reducing the risk. As healthcare professionals, our goal is to educate the public on the importance of cardiovascular health and to provide the necessary support for those at risk. Early intervention and lifestyle modifications can save lives.” Prevention is better than cure and it’s equally important for the patient who has got the disease as well. Post-heart attack who got stenting or CABG are three times more likely to be at risk, emphasising the importance of prevention and regular follow up says Dr Lal Daga, senior interventional cardiologist at Apollo Ahmedabad.

Dr. Upendra Bhalerao –  MS, MCh, DNB, FIACS, Consultant Cardiovascular thoracic and Transplant Surgeon at Jaslok Hospital and Research Center, Mumbai 

“Premature obstructive coronary artery disease (CAD) has become a prime concern for patients and cardiac caregivers in India,” states Dr. Upendra Bhalerao, Consultant Cardiovascular Thoracic and Transplant Surgeon at Jaslok Hospital and Research Center, Mumbai. Premature CAD occurs before the age of 50, and Indians are particularly prone to this at a younger age. Approximately 50% of first heart attacks occur before 55 years, and 25% before 40 years. Acute coronary syndrome is the most common clinical presentation, with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) being the most prevalent, followed by unstable angina, and non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI). Investigations like exercise stress testing, stress echocardiography, and coronary angiography can identify young individuals at higher risk of CAD. Optimal medical management is essential to reduce recurrent CAD and mortality. CABG is a preferred option for severe CAD, especially in complex triple vessel disease or with impaired left ventricular function, particularly when associated with diabetes. The long-term durability of arterial grafts benefits patients for 25-30 years or more, reducing the risk of repeat procedures and improving outcomes.

Dr. Bipin Chandra Aditya Dasari – Interventional Cardiologist at Rhythm Heart Institute, Vadodara

“Cardiovascular disorders are among the leading causes of death globally, and the situation in India is particularly alarming due to genetic predisposition and high incidence of co-morbidities,” states Dr. Bipin Chandra Aditya Dasari, Interventional Cardiologist at Rhythm Heart Institute, Vadodara. Prevention is always better than cure, and early screening of patients with symptoms and co-morbidities is crucial for early diagnosis and treatment before cardiac damage occurs. Various screening methods, such as lipid profile, ECG, Echo, TMT, CT calcium score, CTCAG, and CAG, are available. Diagnosing cardiac diseases before significant events like myocardial infarction (MI) or heart failure can significantly improve patients’ quality of life. Key cardiovascular risk factors include hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidemia, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, sedentary lifestyle, family history, and stress. “Screening is the key to preventing and managing cardiovascular disorders effectively,” emphasizes Dr. Dasari, highlighting the importance of early detection and proactive healthcare measures.

Dr. I. V. Siva Prasad, MD Physician, PG Dip Clinical Cardiology, PCHF, PGCDM, EMBA, Yashoda Hospital, Hitec City, Hyderabad

As we celebrate Doctor’s Day, Dr. I. V. Siva Prasad, a dedicated Cardiologist from Yashoda Hospital, Hyderabad, sheds light on the concerning trend of heart attacks among young adults. He stresses that lifestyle choices play a pivotal role, with factors like sedentary habits, unhealthy diets, and stress contributing significantly to early-onset cardiovascular issues. Dr. Prasad advocates for increased awareness among young adults about the symptoms and risks associated with heart disease. He also highlights advancements in diagnostic technologies, including AI-based cardiology diagnostics such as CT coronary calcium scores, strain echo imaging, and MRI. These technologies enable early detection and proactive management of cardiac health in younger patients, providing non-invasive insights into heart function and structure. Such innovations aid in assessing cardiovascular risk more accurately and facilitate the formulation of personalized treatment plans tailored to each patient’s unique health profile. Through his insights, Dr. Prasad aims to empower young adults to prioritize heart health through lifestyle modifications and proactive medical care, ensuring better outcomes and improved quality of life in the face of this growing health challenge.

Dr. Amit Munjal – MBBS, MD, DNB, Cardiologist at Munjal Multispeciality Hospital, Fatehabad

“Heart attacks in young adults are an increasingly alarming issue, and it’s vital to understand that they pose a serious threat, comparable to those in older age groups,” states Dr. Amit Munjal, MD, DNB, Cardiologist at Munjal Multispeciality Hospital, Fatehabad. “At Munjal Multi-speciality Hospitals, we have observed a worrying rise in cardiovascular diseases among individuals in their 20s and 30s. The main contributors to this trend are lifestyle factors such as unhealthy diets, lack of physical activity, smoking, and elevated stress levels. Unfortunately, young adults often ignore early warning signs, mistaking them for less severe health problems. It’s essential to raise awareness about the importance of regular medical check-ups and the adoption of a heart-healthy lifestyle, which includes balanced nutrition, regular exercise, and stress management. Prevention, early detection, and timely intervention are key to combating this trend. On this Doctor’s Day, let’s commit to prioritizing heart health and educating the younger generation about the risks of heart attacks and the steps they can take to prevent them. By doing so, we can significantly reduce the incidence of heart attacks in young adults.”

Dr. Yogendra Singh – M.D., D.M. (Cardiology), FSCAI (USA) Director Interventional Cardiology; Fellow Interventional Cardiology Catharina Hospital, Holland; Fellow interventional Cardiology Asan Medical Centre, Seoul; Fellow Complex Angioplasty (CTO) Yokohama-City Eastern Hospital, Japan

Heart attacks occur at a younger age in Indians, with one-fourth of all acute Myocardial Infarctions (MIs) reported in patients below 40 years. In Asian Indians, the risk of heart attack is 3-4 times higher than Americans, 6 times higher than Chinese, and 20 times higher than Japanese. Projections suggest that by 2030, a large number of Indians having heart attacks will be under 40 years old. Several risk factors contribute to this, including smoking, high cholesterol, diabetes, sedentary lifestyle, and hypertension. However, many victims do not have identifiable risk factors, pointing to genetics as a significant cause. There is an urgent need to spread awareness about heart attacks, their symptoms, and early recognition in the community. Any young individual experiencing chest pain or gas-like symptoms should not ignore it until an ECG is obtained. Timely diagnosis and treatment, such as clot busters and emergency stenting, can be life-saving.

Dr. S. S. Murthy – MBBS, DNB, MNAMS, Director & HOD Cardiology at Ayushman Hospital, New Delhi

The incidence of heart attacks among young adults, particularly those aged 20 to 50, has risen significantly in the past decade. Approximately 20% of heart attack patients are now in this age group. Factors contributing to this increase include smoking, substance abuse, lifestyle changes, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and poor mental health. Smoking rates are climbing among both males and females, while substance abuse, including cocaine and marijuana use, is also rising. Lifestyle changes such as lack of physical activity, increased consumption of junk food, and disrupted sleep patterns lead to obesity, diabetes, and hypertension. India, known as the diabetes capital, sees a growing number of young diabetics, while early-onset hypertension is linked to obesity and stress. To reduce the risk, young adults should stop smoking and substance abuse, adopt a healthy lifestyle, exercise regularly, avoid junk food and aerated drinks, detect and treat diabetes and hypertension early, manage stress, and practice yoga and meditation.

Dr. Amjad Ali – Senior Consultant Cardiologist at Sagar Multispeciality Hospital, Bhopal

Heart health is paramount, especially among young adults, who often overlook the risk of heart attacks due to a misconception that cardiovascular issues are exclusive to older populations. In reality, lifestyle factors such as poor diet, lack of exercise, smoking, and high-stress levels can significantly increase the risk of heart disease in younger individuals. Early detection and intervention are key to preventing serious outcomes. As a Senior Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, I emphasize the importance of regular check-ups, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and being aware of your heart health. Small changes in daily habits, such as incorporating physical activity, eating a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, avoiding tobacco, and managing stress through mindfulness or other techniques, can make a profound difference. On this Doctor’s Day, let’s take a moment to prioritize our heart health and work towards a future where heart attacks in young adults are a rarity, not a common occurrence. By being proactive and informed, we can all contribute to a healthier, heart-conscious generation.

Understanding the realities of heart attacks in young adults is crucial. By recognizing the warning signs and knowing when to seek immediate help, you can potentially save lives. This Doctor’s Day, consider taking a proactive step towards heart health. Schedule a check-up, learn CPR, or simply make a commitment to prioritize your well-being. Every action counts in safeguarding your heart and the hearts of those you love.

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