There was a time where cardiovascular illness used to strike people in their second half of the life; however, now, the situation is completely different.
Studies have revealed that at least 30% of the cardiovascular patients are youngsters in the age group of 20-40 years.
The alarming rate at which the deadly disease is slowly gripping the youth is an indication of the sedentary lifestyle and a reminder that coronary artery disease is not an old age disease anymore.
Coronary artery disease occurs due to the process of atherosclerosis. It means that calcium and fat deposits (plaques) are accumulated inside the inner walls of the arteries.
These plaques can restrict blood flow to the heart muscle by physically clogging the artery or by causing an abnormal artery tone and function.
This disease affects all medium-sized arteries of the body but has a special affinity towards the heart, brain and kidney arteries.
Atherosclerosis usually starts in the teens and 20s, and gradually progresses till it becomes significant or dangerous in the later stage.
However, this process can be accelerated by various lifestyle and environmental factors. Smoking, alcohol consumption, being obese and following a sedentary lifestyle are the main reasons behind this accelerated process.
Also Read: How To Prevent Cardiovascular Disease
Most of the Gen-Y today follow a desk-bound lifestyle; and therefore lack of adequate physical activity, which can lead to various diseases like blood pressure, heart diseases, diabetes, obesity, hypertension, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), irritation, road rage, etc, could also lead to an unproductive and an unsporting attitude at the workplace.
Persistent smoking, alcohol consumption, stress and genetic predisposition are the most obvious factors and they also play a critical role in the early onset and rapid progression of atherosclerosis.
How To Reduce These Risk Factors?
Doctors recommend early and regular heart checkups to diagnose the disease early. Both men and women must take a stress test at the age of 35 and every 3 years thereafter.
Make some lifestyle changes altogether. One needs to reduce cholesterol and maintain their blood sugar and blood pressure levels.
Introduce low-fat, low-sodium and low-cholesterol-based foods in your diet and cut down on smoking and alcohol completely.
It is imperative to maintain a healthy weight and physical exercise is a must to keep your weight in check. Regular exercise is beneficial not just for your body but to keep you feeling relieved and stress free as well. Ensure to consult your doctor before beginning an exercise program.
Doctors are the best people to advice you on the best medications, in case you are prone to risk factors like high cholesterol or high blood pressure.
Do not self-medicate; and visit your doctor at regular intervals to keep a tab on your health.
Exercise must become a part of your everyday life. Food habits should also be altered to accommodate more fruits and vegetables in the diet and less of oil and fried food.
There has been a steep increase in the number of heart patients below the age of 45 years. In this technology-driven phase, people must understand the importance of their health and ensure to keep a good amount of time aside to indulge in outdoor activities, which is now an absolute necessity to keep themselves healthy and fit!
MBBS,M R Medical College. Gulbarga, Karnataka,MS,JJMMC, Davangere, MCh in CVT Surgery, KEM Hospital
He is the Chairman and Chief Cardiothoracic & Vascular Surgeon, who heads the Department of Cardiovascular Sciences at the Fortis Hospitals, Bangalore