The previous half-decade has seen tremendous change in how we live because of modern living and its trappings. Yet, in the meantime, public healthcare teams have seen and are concerned about the growth of three potentially life-threatening conditions: stroke, heart attack, and cancer.
According to a few studies, Indians get heart disease at least ten years earlier than those in the West. In addition, Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) prevalence among young people is increasing due to sedentary lifestyles, habitual smoking, and hypertension.
According to specialists in India, the growth of heart disorders and the decreasing age of people are most prone to heart attacks, which will be a huge issue for public health institutions and even the private sector in the coming years.
Here’s Why Many Young Indians are Dying of Sudden Cardiac Arrest
India is regarded as the world’s diabetes and coronary heart disease capital today. In India, 50% of heart attacks occur under the age of 50, and 25% occur under the age of 40. Sudden cardiac arrest is becoming more common in people aged 25 to 35. South Indians are more vulnerable to this attack because of central adiposity. Therefore, South Indians typically consume more carbohydrates and less protein.
According to public health specialists, haphazard living causes hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity, and smoking habits may lead to Sudden cardiac arrest. In addition, professionals who work in high-stress workplaces become prone to all the above risk factors, which can lead to heart attacks.
Experts believe that unless there is a concerted effort to make young people aware of the risk factors, pitfalls of modern-day lifestyle, and the need to adopt an active lifestyle for quality living, the health sector and even society will have to deal with young people succumbing to heart ailments, which are ironically preventable.
Sudden Cardiac Arrest
What is sudden cardiac arrest? It is the abrupt cessation of heart function, respiration, and awareness. The condition is usually caused by an electrical issue in your heart, which affects your heart’s pumping action and blocks blood flow to your body.
In heart attack the blood flow to a portion of the heart is interrupted, is not the same as sudden cardiac arrest. On the other hand, a heart attack can occasionally cause an electrical disruption that results in sudden cardiac arrest.
It can be dangerous if not treated immediately. However, with prompt and appropriate medical attention, survival is feasible. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), using a defibrillator, or compressing the chest can increase the odds of survival until emergency personnel arrives.
Why Does Sudden Heart Arrest Occur?
How does Sudden cardiac arrest happen? It is without notice and brings the heart to a halt. It is caused by irregular heartbeats caused by an electrical defect that prevents the heart from pumping blood to the body. It results in mortality if not treated within the first 6 minutes.
The human heart beats at a pace of 60-100 beats per minute, and any variation in this rate, whether too slow (Bradycardia) or too fast (Tachycardia), is known as cardiac arrhythmia. A deadly arrhythmia can occur in those who have a sudden rise in heart rate or who are genetically predisposed to cardiac illness. Arrhythmia is the main reason for cardiac arrest at a young age.
The critical step in managing SCA is to perform Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) during the first 6 minutes. This increases the odds of life significantly since it rapidly resumes heart functions and gives blood supply to the brain.
With each beat, heart contracts and pushes blood out from the left ventricle, your heart’s main pumping chamber. The percentage of blood pumped out of your left ventricle with each heartbeat is referred to as the Ejection Fraction (EF). Your EF may be poor if a heart attack, heart muscle disease, or a heart valve problem has damaged your heart muscles.
A normal EF is between 55 and 75 percent. You are at a substantially increased risk of SCA if your EF is less than 35%. A painless ultrasound called an echocardiogram that utilizes sound waves for cardiac catheterization, a technique in which a thin, flexible tube (catheter) is conducted through blood arteries in the leg or arm to the heart, is the simplest way to assess your EF.
Sudden cardiac arrest symptoms in young Indians are as follows:
- Pain, discomfort, weight, tightness, squeezing, or discomfort in your chest, arm, or behind your breastbone
- Back pain, jaw pain, throat pain, or arm pain
- Fullness, indigestion, or choking sensation (it may feel like heartburn)
- Sweating, nausea, vomiting, or dizziness
- Severe weariness, anxiety, or shortness of breath
- Fast or irregular pulse
Symptoms can vary from person to person or from one heart attack to the next. Some heart attacks do not cause symptoms (a “silent” myocardial infarction). Diabetes patients are more likely to experience this.
Most abrupt cardiac arrest causes are abnormal heart rhythms known as arrhythmias. Ventricular fibrillation is the most frequent life-threatening arrhythmia. This is an irregular, chaotic discharge of impulses from the ventricles of your heart (lower chambers). When this occurs, your heart becomes unable to pump blood. You could die in minutes if you do not receive treatment.
Other causes of abrupt cardiac arrest include:
- Coronary artery disease.
- Heart problems that are present from birth.
- Changes in the structure of your heart are caused by disease or infection.
- Excessive physical exertion or blood loss.
According to senior experts, the primary risk factors of cardiac arrest in young adults in India are as follows:
- Stress and pressure
- Anxiety and depression
- Intake of processed foods
- Canned foods
- binge eating
- Inveterate Smoking
- Sugary and carbonated beverages
- No physical exercise
- Inactive, sedentary lifestyle
- Sleep apnea
It is now the time to focus on a healthy lifestyle, and here are essential tips for sudden cardiac arrest treatment to be followed for a healthy lifestyle.
- Make it a point to drink water instead of sugary drinks.
- Add green leafy vegetables to your diet, as they are a rich source of proteins, iron, calcium, and fiber.
- Proteins are important for the body and should be included in the diet. Protein-rich foods include broccoli, soybeans, lentils, asparagus, and spinach.
- Most individuals gulp their meal without thoroughly chewing it. So keep in mind to chew the food properly.
- Say no to fast food and soft drinks and yes to home foods
- Include seasonal fruits as a snack in your everyday routine.
2. Importance of Family History
Family history is critical, and if the mother had heart disease when she was young, the odds of her children acquiring it are also relatively high. Genes are something that you cannot change no matter what you do.
Whatever lifestyle you follow, if your inherited predisposition is exceedingly high, you will likely develop blockages sooner or later. So, you must evaluate yourself regularly after reaching a particular age.
3. Periodic Screenings Are Required
Periodic screening tests are required to detect the disease early, allowing adequate therapy to be administered before severe cardiac damage occurs. Electrocardiogram (ECG), treadmill test, and CT scan are all standard screening tests.
Heart screening tests are recommended once a year or every two years after age 30 in the general population to know the causes of sudden cardiac arrest.
4. Physical exercise
30 to 45 minutes of daily exercise can maintain the body fit and prevent numerous diseases and health issues such as diabetes, hypertension, and obesity. Swimming, cycling, and jogging for half an hour will help in cardiac arrest prevention. However, individuals do not adequately hydrate their bodies before vigorous exercise.
When you do not hydrate but exercise vigorously and sweat, your blood thickens, and you may develop a clot. Exercising above your limit also produces stress, which might lead to an arterial rupture.
5. Stress management
Stress and worry have frequently been connected to cardiovascular disease. According to research, elevated cortisol levels caused by long-term stress can make a person more prone to high blood cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugar, and hypertension
Young people face a lot of stress, including performance stress, urbanization stress, and lifestyle stress, which can contribute to smoking, drinking, and bad food habits and patterns. This, in turn, puts strain on the heart, perhaps leading to a heart attack, cardiac arrest, or arrhythmia.
To maintain your health, you must begin implementing healthy lifestyle practices daily. A healthy regimen involves eating a nutritious balanced diet, exercising regularly, abstaining from and overcoming addictions such as smoking and drug use, controlling alcohol consumption and sleep cycles, and managing stress. One should also be aware of family history and take the required precautions. Consultation with the best cardiologist in Hyderabad, Telangana, for regular check-ups and treatment is necessary to diagnose any abnormalities and treat them with specific medications and routines that your doctor may propose.
Suppose you have survived a SCA and are at risk of having another one. In that case, an ICD (Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator) or Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) device may be implanted to monitor, control, and improve your heartbeat and pump performance, as well as provide electrical shocks during potentially fatal cardiac arrhythmias, to reestablish normalcy. Consult the best cardiologist in Hyderabad to keep a track on your heart.