Fat or Fate?
A 70- or 80-year old person succumbing to heart attack is considered as normal, but people panic and notice when a 30- or 40-year old person suffers from the disease. What makes heart attack common in younger people nowadays? Though a vast percent of heart diseases in the younger people is triggered by abnormalities of the coronary artery, some can be due to blood clots that form elsewhere but get carried to normal coronary arteries while some others can be due to a blood clotting system that increase the risk of clot formation throughout the circulatory system. Other common reasons include inflammation of the coronary arteries, chemotherapy treatment given for chest tumor, chest trauma and abuse of drugs/cocaine.
The risk factor for a heart disease almost remains the same in older as well as younger people. This includes smoking, abdominal obesity, high cholesterol, hypertension, genetics, inactive lifestyle, metabolic syndrome and ignorance about the problem. Though risk factors are many and indications too are so, almost 50% heart attacks in middle-aged people go unnoticed, according to a study in the journal Circulation. The study followed nearly 10,000 participants whose average age was 54 years devoid of any heart disease at the start of the study. During the nine-year follow up, participants were questioned on various things and their ECG or electrocardiogram readings taken to find out any risk of heart disease. While 4% participant experienced heart attacks during the follow-up period, another 3% participants suffered from silent heart attacks (blood flow stops but there are no symptoms defining it) accounting for almost 50% of all heart attacks in the study. Though statistics show that men are affected greatly by silent heart attacks, it is women who face the risk of increased death due to this.
Risk Factors Elevate Risk
Middle age seems to be the perfect choice for heart disease to occupy central position in life as numerous factors that negatively impact heart health amplify during this period. These factors include high cholesterol, high blood pressure, smoking and absence of physical activity. A detailed analysis of 18 studies once again establishes the fact that differences in risk factor burdens in middle age can totally impact cardiovascular risk lifelong. When a person in his/her 40s or 50s has high BP or cholesterol, his/her chances of a heart disease risk increases over the lifetime by multi-folds.
If one looks at the core risk factors for heart disease, except for genetics controlling all other risk factors depends on us entirely. While rates of heart disease among middle-aged people are dramatically on the rise, the key to controlling it lies with us. Significant small changes in due course of time can impact cardiovascular risk positively in many ways. Health care professionals as well as individuals must take every step possible to minimize risk. Physicians must ensure to comply with the ABCs of heart health that include
AVOID FRAUD. EAT SMART.
+91 7846 800 800
Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.