Fit doesn’t always mean healthy, say experts. Stress, ignoring warning signs causing heart issues in under-50s

The sudden death of actor Sidharth Shukla at the age of 40, allegedly from sudden cardiac arrest, shocked many. According to sources close to Sidharth’s family, the actor complained of chest pain around 3 a.m. on Thursday last week, but fell asleep again. However, in the morning Sidharth did not get up. Doctors at Cooper Hospital in Mumbai pronounced him dead on Thursday at around 10.15am. The actor’s death has drawn attention to the rising incidence of heart disease among 30- and 40-year-olds, even when they appear to be fit. In July, the filmmaker and husband of Mandira Bedi, Raj Kaushal, passed away from cardiac arrest at the age of 49, and in April, the actor Amit Mistry died of a heart attack at the age of 47. Doctors say that “younger age heart attack cases” groups are increasing at an alarming rate “. “In my clinical practice, two out of 10 patients are in the 30-40 age group,” says Dr. Brajesh Kunwar, Head-Interventional Cardiology, Fortis Hiranandani Hospital, Vashi, Mumbai. Dr. Tilak Suvarna, Senior Interventional Cardiologist, Asian Heart Institute added, “Even in young adults, conventional heart disease risk factors are what make up the majority of heart attacks. These conventional risk factors include diabetes, high blood pressure, family history, high cholesterol, and smoking. ”Medical experts share why most cases of heart disease are fatal in young patients and what warning signs to watch out for.

“Get a heart screen every six months after COVID recovery”

While there have been no reports that Sidharth has ever contracted COVID, the problem of unexpected breakdown has been a common one in people who have recovered from the coronavirus. We ask experts to take precautions after COVID to protect your heart. Dr. TS Kler, Chairman, Fortis Heart and Vascular Institute), Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram, says, “Anyone who has recovered from COVID must have their heart screened every six months. This is because COVID can cause an underlying heart injury such as myocarditis. Recovered COVID patients must ensure that they start exercising slowly and steadily and only after their attending physician has given their consent. You need to make sure that you see your doctor immediately if you experience shortness of breath, palpitations, chest pain, or dizziness. ”
– Tips from Mohit Suri and Siddharth Singh, athletes and fitness experts

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Why cardiac arrest can be fatal in people between 30 and 40

Dr. TS Kler, Chairman, Fortis Heart and Vascular Institute, FMRI, Gurugram, stressed the need for regular medical examinations and “not to take any kind of ailment lightly” and says, “Young people often tend to ignore or not report malaise or mistake it for gas, causing the heart attack – if it occurs – to be massive and instantly fatal. Young people don’t expect their arteries to get clogged because of their age. So you don’t go to annual checks. If you have a family history of heart disease and are older than 25 years, you should have regular check-ups. For example, if a brother has died of a heart attack at the age of 35, it is imperative that they have regular check-ups after they are 25 years old. The body changes and reacts differently as we grow, and we need to make sure we are aware of what is happening inside us. ” Tilak Suvarna adds: “Identifying risk factors early and taking action plays a major role in preventing a heart attack. Therefore, it is important to do full health checks after age 30 to identify such risk factors and then take medication to control and reduce the risk. Increased stress is another factor, especially during this pandemic, that can cause a heart attack. Stress is difficult to measure, so it is important to manage it through lifestyle changes such as yoga, meditation, and exercise. ”
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“Looking fit doesn’t mean you are healthy”

After learning of Sidharth’s sudden death, many wondered how such a thing could happen to a physically fit guy like him. But medical experts say that looking fit doesn’t really mean that you are healthy. “In my opinion, stress (either at work or in a personal relationship) is the most critical cause of heart attacks in the younger population, even among diet freaks who are very careful about their diet. Factors like smoking also contribute, ”says Dr. Brajesh Kunwar. Dr. Haresh G. Mehta, Interventional Cardiologist at SL Raheja Hospital, adds, “Today, many teenagers have unhealthy lifestyles that include excessive stress, lack of sleep, alcohol consumption, smoking, unsafe dietary supplements, slimming pills, and excessive exercise. These habits are detrimental to health and cause several health complications that can lead to sudden heart attacks. ”He repeats that looking fit or going to the gym doesn’t mean you are healthy or leading a healthy lifestyle. “Talk to your doctor for proper guidance on diet, supplements, and exercise,” he adds. Dr. Mukesh Goel, Senior Consultant in Charge of Cardiac, Thoracic and Vascular Surgery, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi, says: “You can achieve fitness by going to the gym, but you won’t get well. Fitness and health are completely different and should not be confused with one another. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go to the gym. People should keep in mind that everyone should have an annual health check-up after 25 years. You should focus on a heart-healthy diet with a balance of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Add fresh fruits and vegetables. Avoid smoking and stress, which are major causes of cardiac arrest, and limit your alcohol consumption. ”


Look out for these warning signs

While experts say you may not always get warning signs, “one thing to be aware of is if you become breathless and have chest, arm, or jaw discomfort while exercising or doing physical exertion. If action could be taken by the time the warning signs are emerging, the number of deaths would be reduced, ”says Dr. TS cler. Dr. Balbir Singh, Chairman, Cardiology, Pan Max Hospitals, adds that “any discomfort or a heavy feeling in the chest can be the warning”. Dr. Vivek Mahajan, Interventional Cardiologist at Fortis Hospital, added: “Even patients with minor blockages can suffer from massive heart attacks. This generally happens because the blockage has ruptured or burst through a process known as vascular inflammation. To avoid this, people at risk such as smokers, people with high cholesterol, high blood sugar, high blood pressure, and a family history of early heart disease should get regular checkups and lifestyle changes. One should consider learning CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). You barely have three to four minutes to resuscitate a person if they collapse from a heart attack, and this is where CPR is crucial. Therefore, social awareness of CPR for the common good should be increased. ”

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– With inputs from Niharika Lal and Debarati S Sen

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