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World Heart Day: Best Cardiologist in India Advice on Increasing Heart Issues among Youth

New Delhi (India), September 29: Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) continue to be a leading global health threat, claiming millions of lives each year. Traditionally associated with later stages of life, heart problems, including heart attacks and disease, now affect individuals in their prime. As we approach World Heart Day, observed on September 29th annually, it’s time to turn our attention to this vital organ and the importance of cardiovascular health. These top heart experts share their advice to guide you on a journey through the corridors of your heart as we explore the significance and the strategies to nurture a stronger, healthier heart.

Dr. Binayak Chanda, MBBS, MRCS, FRCS CTh, Senior Consultant Cardiac Surgeon, Kolkata

Heart disease has never been a disease only for the aged. Thanks to the media, we can now only gauge the extent of the affliction of cardiac diseases in the young. Specialists encounter cases across all socioeconomic scales. Rheumatic infection in childhood can leave lasting effects on the heart valves, particularly the Aortic and Mitral valves, which become apparent in young adulthood if left untreated, often leading to debilitating heart failure. Rheumatic Heart Disease is certainly a significant contributor to heart disease in young adults. But more worrying is the increasing trends of Coronary Artery blockades in the early 40s group. Nowadays, heart surgeons come across these groups of patients with alarming frequency.

We often hear of young celebrities meeting an untimely death after physical exercise. These are unfortunate manifestations of undiscovered coronary artery disease or undiagnosed heart rhythm problems like Ventricular Fibrillation. Advice to all readers – Controlled diet both in terms of quality and quantity. Avoid sugar, Regular health checks, Lifestyle modification including avoidance of stress, and the importance of good quality sleep is paramount. Remember, being aware is half the problem being solved.

Dr. Pavan Kumar – Senior Heart Surgeon from Lilavati Hospital, Mumbai

Heart attacks have become increasingly common in the younger generation, and the term itself can be particularly frightening for those who frequent the gym. It’s crucial to emphasize here that your heart & body know your risk factors for your heart disease. When working out, it’s essential to follow some basic practices. Avoid overexertion, don’t use steroids for muscle building, opt for balanced meals over protein shakes, and refrain from pushing your body beyond its limits under trainers.

The gradual buildup of cholesterol plaque in coronary arteries due to bad food habits, can narrow these vessels, increasing the risk of heart attacks during vigorous exercise. Everyone should get a treadmill test and, if possible, a coronary heart scan and calcium scoring before undergoing Gym training.   This calcium score scan can assess damage to the coronary arteries and help identify individuals at risk of a heart attack even before symptoms arise. Fight with knowledge, moderation in habits, right variety of exercises & medications. If heart surgery is advised, then go ahead, get it done & live a normal, healthy life afterwards. Fear has to be won. Only you can live fearlessly.

Dr. Upendra Bhalerao, MS, MCh, DNB FIACS Consultant Cardiothoracic and Transplant Surgeon Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre, Mumbai

Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) strikes Indians at a young age, claiming over 50% before they turn 50. Major risk factors for young patients include smoking, unhealthy eating, hypertension, a sedentary lifestyle, and stress. Those with symptoms like angina and shortness of breath often exhibit characteristic dyslipidemia with low HDL-C and high triglycerides. Hyperhomocysteinemia is linked to CAD. Clinical presentation in young Indians varies, from risk-free multiple vessel disease to asymptomatic extensive ischemia causing sudden cardiac death. CAD management begins with risk reduction and lifestyle changes, including diet and exercise.

Controlling blood pressure, lipids, and sugars with recommended treatments is vital. Goal-directed statin therapy is crucial for cholesterol control. Drug-eluting stents and improved antiplatelet agents promise better outcomes in young patients with obstructive CAD. CABG is an option for severe coronary involvement, especially in complex triple vessel disease or when coupled with impaired left ventricular function, particularly in cases involving diabetes.

Dr. Sanjat Chiwane, MD, DM, FESC, FSCAI, Director Cardiology – Max Hospital, Gurugram

Preventive cardiology is one of the most important aspects of cardiology. Many cardiovascular diseases, such as coronary artery disease, heart failure, and arrhythmias, are the result of multifactorial components, principally lifestyle habits, comorbidities, and genetics. In terms of what you can do, think of the acronym COSHED (cholesterol, overweight, smoking, hypertension, and exercise). The new advancements in preventive cardiology have enabled physicians to not only determine one’s current risk of heart disease but to accurately predict one’s future risk of a heart attack or heart disease.

If the right testing is performed and the right treatments and prevention are implemented, no one should die of heart disease, at least not until very old age. Unfortunately, many physicians and cardiologists either do not perform the right tests or do not implement the right preventive strategies for their patients. Most cardiologists are very good at treating heart disease when it has already occurred but not very well at preventing it.

Dr. Puneet K Verma, Chief Interventional Cardiologist cum Structural Heart Specialist, Ace Heart and Vascular Institute, Mohali

As we observe World Heart Day, it is crucial to address the alarming rise in heart issues among the youth. Recent cardiac health statistics from India reveal a concerning trend, with an escalating number of young individuals facing heart-related challenges. Dr. Puneet Verma, a distinguished Structural Heart Specialist and Director of ACE Heart & Vascular Institute, Mohali, sheds light on this critical issue.

Dr. Verma emphasizes the urgent need for lifestyle modifications. Sedentary habits, unhealthy diets, and stress have become pervasive in today’s fast-paced world. Engaging in regular physical activity, adopting heart-healthy dietary choices, and managing stress through mindfulness practices are pivotal steps towards safeguarding our hearts. Furthermore, early detection and intervention are imperative. Routine check-ups and awareness of familial predispositions can help identify potential risks. Dr. Verma encourages young adults to be proactive in seeking medical advice and incorporating heart-protective measures into their daily lives.

On this World Heart Day, let us join hands in prioritizing our cardiovascular well-being, ensuring a healthier, more vibrant future for generations to come.
 
Dr. Roheit Rakhunde, MBBS, FCR, D.Card (Clinical Cardiology), Consultant Cardiologist – Swami Vivekanand Hospital and Orange City Hospital, Nagpur

As we celebrate World Heart Day, it’s time to shine a spotlight on a startling and concerning trend: the surge in heart diseases among India’s youth. The notion that heart issues are solely the concern of the elderly is rapidly fading, and a new narrative is emerging—one where the young and vibrant are increasingly falling prey to heart-related ailments.

Why is this happening? The culprits are manifold. The seductive embrace of a sedentary lifestyle, the siren call of fast food, and the relentless pressures of modern life are taking a toll on our youth’s hearts. A surge in obesity rates, a spike in diabetes, and a worrisome increase in heart problems among the younger generation. But it’s not all doom and gloom. On this World Heart Day, let’s focus on empowerment. Awareness campaigns that speak to youth, initiatives promoting heart-healthy habits, and creating an environment where fitness is fun are essential steps.

Remember, a youthful heart is a treasure worth cherishing. This World Heart Day, let’s pledge to safeguard our most vital organ, ensuring a vibrant, heart-healthy future for India’s youth.
 
Dr. Kamaldeep Chawla, MD, DNB, CARD, FICC, FESC, FSCAI,FACC, FRCP Edin, Fellowship in Intervetional Cardiology, ICPS, France,, Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, Ayushman Heart Wellness Center, Gujrat

The surge in cardiovascular issues among the younger population is an alarming trend in modern healthcare. Sedentary lifestyles, high consumption of processed foods, and excessive stress are contributing to a rise in conditions like hypertension, obesity, and metabolic syndrome, even in youth. To curb this concerning trajectory, it is imperative that young individuals prioritize their heart health. Regular exercise, a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins, and stress management techniques are fundamental. Avoidance of smoking, limiting alcohol intake, and adherence to prescribed medications in cases of chronic conditions are essential measures. Routine checkups for blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose levels should be non-negotiable. Ultimately, early intervention and prevention are the cornerstones to mitigating the growing burden of heart disease among youth. It is vital for young individuals to recognize their role in this battle and adopt a disciplined approach to safeguard their cardiovascular well-being.

Dr. Amit Munjal, MD, DNB, Cardiologist – Munjal Heart Center, Fatehabad

The increasing prevalence of cardiovascular ailments among India’s youth is a growing concern for cardiologists, closely linked to sedentary lifestyles, inadequate dietary choices, heightened stress levels, and rising obesity rates. To counter this pressing issue, there is a critical need to emphasize prevention and culturally tailored cardiovascular education. This entails advocating for heart-healthy lifestyles in the form of walking, cycling or swimming, adherence to traditional dietary patterns, and avoidance of smoking & limiting alcohol intake. Routine cardiovascular assessments or regular heart checkups assume great importance, considering India’s genetic predisposition to such conditions.

The integration of comprehensive cardiovascular education within Indian educational institutions and communities is pivotal, along with a strong focus on mental health, encompassing stress-reduction methods rooted in Indian traditions and accessible psychiatric support when required. Collaborative efforts involving educational institutions, parents, and healthcare professionals are central to implementing a holistic strategy to address cardiovascular issues among India’s youth and nurture a healthier future generation.

Dr. Manish Jain, Consultant Cardiologist – ACI Cumballa Hill Hospital, Global Hospital & Apollo Spectra Hospital, Mumbai

Heart disease, encompassing various conditions like heart attacks, constitutes a significant threat, accounting for nearly one in five deaths in individuals aged 25 to 64. A heart attack, a dire consequence of heart disease, arises when the heart is deprived of sufficient oxygen-rich blood. This deprivation can manifest suddenly or evolve over hours, days, or even weeks, inflicting potentially irreversible harm on the heart muscle and sometimes proving fatal. Alarmingly, many individuals experience a heart attack as their initial wake-up call to the deteriorating health of their heart. This unsettling trend is underscored by the increasing incidence of heart attacks among those under 50, attributed to factors such as high blood pressure, obesity, family history, diabetes, and blood vessel tears.
To prevent heart attacks in the younger generation, it’s crucial to focus on lifestyle modifications. Encouraging regular exercise, maintaining a heart-healthy diet, managing stress, and avoiding tobacco use are paramount. Additionally, monitoring and controlling risk factors like high blood pressure and diabetes through medication and regular check-ups can significantly reduce the risk of heart attacks in younger individuals.

Dr. I. V. Siva Prasad, MD physician, PG Dip Clinical Cardiology, PCHF, PGCDM, EMBA, Yashoda

Hospital, Hitec City, Hyderabad

The escalating prevalence of heart issues among today’s youth, characterized by an alarming surge in heart attacks (medically termed myocardial infarctions with sudden cardiac deaths), underscores a grim reality. A heart attack happens when coronary arteries, responsible for supplying oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle, become blocked by atherosclerotic plaque – a mix of fat, cholesterol, and other deposits. This oxygen shortage triggers damage whose extent relies on the affected heart area and time until treatment and, when delayed, can become an irreversible loss of the muscle associated with scarring of the heart muscle, which may trigger certain arrhythmias called VT that may cause sudden cardiac arrest.

The concerning surge in youth heart attacks can primarily be traced to deleterious lifestyle alterations as well as a surge in Pollution in urban areas. Prolonged sedentary habits, prolonged screen time, the proliferation of ultra-processed foods, and an upswing in fast-food consumption, high and consistent stress exposure have collectively ushered in this ominous trend. Compounding the issue in the Indian context are the rampant afflictions of diabetes, metabolic syndrome, hypertension, and widespread tobacco use, all potent precursors to cardiovascular maladies. Alarmingly, cardiac disease strikes Indians about 33% earlier than other populations, often without warning, highlighting the severity of the issue.

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