Category: Sudden Cardiac Death

Men under 30 years suffer heart attacks more, claim doctors

This article appeared on Times of India

In a worrying find, a group of medical experts said that that young men aged under 30 are increasingly suffering from heart attacks, more than the other age groups. They said women aged below below 40 have also been suffering from heart attacks, contrary to perception.
As per the statistics from January to May this year, almost 30% to 35% of those who have had treatment for heart attacks were below 45 at Apollo Speciality Hospitals in the city. And among those, 80% of them were men. Most of them were smokers. According to interventional cardiologist Dr Kader Sahib Ashraf, evrey month he has been treating at least three patients who are men below 30 years for heart attacks, this year.

While smoking is the most common factor among young men suffering heart attacks, hypertension and diabetes are the other two major reasons. “A man, who we treated for heart attack recently, was just 19. In that particular case, the patient was a smoker for almost five to six years. Among men – especially those who suffer from heart diseases at a young age – smoking is the most common reason. Everyone should be more aware about modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors when it comes to heart attack,” Kader told TOI.

While the modifiable risk factors include smoking, excessive drinking, improper diet and poor lifestyle etc., non-modifiable risk factor predominantly is family history. Cardiologists stated that people, right from when they are in their late teens, apart from not indulging in smoking or using any tobacco products, they should focus on three major practices for healthy heart: proper diet, sufficient exercise and meditation.

Due to the increased prevalence of heart diseases among youngsters, doctors are urging annual body check-up for those above 30 which initially used to be for those over 40.According to chief interventional cardiologist Dr Senthilkumar Nallusamy, women, even before the post menopause, can suffer from heart attacks. “Based on my observation, many men who are in their 20s are getting heart attacks. But everyone should be aware that even women, in their young age, can get heart attacks. There is a misconception that women, who have not had post menopause, don’t get heart attacks. Most recently, I have seen three cases in which women in their 30s had heart attacks,” he said.

How Sudden Cardiac Death Occurs & it’s Causes?

Sudden Cardiac Death is caused by Sudden Cardiac Arrest (loss of heart’s function). It is estimated that more than 300,000 deaths occur yearly from Sudden Cardiac Death in US. More than half of heart disease is Sudden Cardiac Death. And it’s leading cause of natural death.

Sudden Cardiac Death is Different from Heart Attack:

Sudden Cardiac Death is different from Heart Attack. However, Sudden Cardiac Death may occur in people having a heart attack.

In a Heart Attack, there is blockage and blood flow is prevented to certain area of heart. This results in damage to that area. In Sudden Cardiac Death, the heart loses it’s ability to pump completely resulting in death.

What Causes Sudden Cardiac Death:

Arrhythmia causes Sudden Cardia Death. Arrhythmia is said to have occurred when lower chambers of the heart (ventricles) is unable to pump blood due to disorganized impulses. The heart flutters and becomes unstable. No blood is pumped out and death occurs in minutes.

Risk Factors for Sudden Cardiac Death

Here are some risk factors for Sudden Cardiac Death:

  1. You had previously experienced Sudden Cardiac Arrest
  2. Family history of Sudden Cardiac Deaths
  3. You have suffered a Heart Attack. People who had suffered a Heart Attack have 75% chances of Sudden Cardiac Death.
  4. People with Coronary Artery Disease have 80% chances of Sudden Cardiac Death.
  5. People with heart failure are 9 times more prone to Sudden Cardiac Death compared to common people. Heart Failure is a condition is which heart’s pumping ability is below normal.
  6. Frequent episodes of Arrhythmia.

How to Prevent Sudden Cardiac Death?

Check if you fall under any risk factor. If yes, talk with your cardiologist and get checked immediately.

If you don’t fall under risk factors be on guard for any abnormal rhythms.

What to do if someone is having a Cardiac Arrest?

Quickly give them a CPR. If you are not trained in CPR then just compress the chest until help arrives. The next best is to use AED. Defibrillators can help the heart to beat regularly.