The City Headlines
Ludhiana, September 14
The sudden death of actor Sidharth Shukla due to cardiac arrest has been alarming for people all across the country. The whole country was shocked as he was only 40 years old.
For many, this has been a warning signal that not only the elderly but adults are also at a high risk of cardiac arrest. Sidharth’s death is not the first case, as several other young celebrities have died because of cardiac issues. Filmmaker Rituparno Ghosh (49), director Raj Kaushal (49), actor Vivek Shauq (47), Amit Mistry (47) and Abir Goswami (37) lost their lives because of these issues at a young age.
Even for health experts, heart-related ailments among young Indians have become an issue.
To understand the root cause of the increasing number of such cases, The City Headlines team had a conversation with Dr. Bishav Mohan, Professors Cardiology and Medical Superintendent at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital in Ludhiana. He has experience of over 21 years in the medical industry and has helped thousands of patients get their lives back on track.
He debunks several myths and explains the reasons for heart ailments.
What is the cause of sudden deaths in youngsters today that we have been witnessing?
There are several reasons for sudden death. However, a heart attack is the most common one. It usually happens because of clotting in the heart muscles leading to electric disturbances. Other than that, cardiomyopathy is another issue where the heart muscles get thick. Not only this, sometimes, the heart muscles rupture and become a cause of death.
Sometimes, even fit and active people collapse without showing any symptoms. What are the reasons behind that?
Such cases are rare and the percentage of occurrence is quite low. However, the bodies give certain warning signals that people fail to understand. The majority of them suffer from heart blockages and weakness of heart muscle, ultimately leading to electric fluctuations in the heart.
How has a change in lifestyle and eating habits affected the youngsters’ cardiac health?
If we compare Indians to Western countries, they suffer from a heart attack ten years earlier. But undoubtedly, lifestyle and eating habits have a great impact on heart health. Heavy smokers are more prone to heart attacks. Other than that, stress, anxiety, frequent blood pressure issues, high cholesterol levels can lead to a heart attack.
What are the “warning signals” that young people must focus on to reduce the chances of heart attack?
Everyone needs to be aware of these symptoms. Suffocation, uneasiness, acidity, unusual chest pain, lethargy are some of them. It is very important to get to know all of these signals at an early stage. Often people take all of these symptoms very lightly. However, they get worse and eventually leads to death. If treatment is given within 3-4 hours, patients’ lives can be saved.
Which age group and gender in India is more prone to heart attacks?
Researchers have shown that youngsters and even school-going kids are prone to it. One of the major reasons is lifestyle changes. Even kids have blood pressure issues, but they are not aware of it. Weight gain, inactivity can lead to heart ailments. They should get their blood pressure checked frequently. If youngsters can control weight gain issues, stay active, their chances of getting a heart attack can be reduced.
Other than that, stress is a major factor in cardiac health. From the last 2-3 decades, it has been witnessed that depression, loneliness, job losses, financial instabilities have caused heart ailments. Stress releases certain chemicals in the body that affect heart health and causes blood clots leading to a heart attack.
Has this coronavirus pandemic aggravated cardiac issues in people?
Up to some extent, yes! Coronavirus has an adverse effect on blood as well as it makes clots in the body. Moreover, because of the pandemic, many people have lost their loved ones. A lot of people have lost their jobs as well. All of these factors contribute to an increasing number of heart ailments.
A lot of gym-goers also fall prey to cardiac issues? What can be the reason behind it?
As I said earlier, there is not a single reason for cardiac issues. Different factors contribute to it. Sometimes, people do excessive workouts and dehydrate. Other than that, protein intake also increases when you go to the gym. That also causes dehydration. All of this increases bad cholesterol in the body, which is one of the causes of a heart attack.
Moreover, many people have a family history of poor cardiac health. Issues happen because of that as well. I suggest that everyone should know their limits and push their bodies up to that extent only.
What does “thickness in blood” actually mean?
It actually refers to an increase in bad cholesterol in the body. This can become a cause of blockage in the heart leading to a heart attack. Dehydration is also a reason. People do not drink enough water during winters, due to which the viscosity of the blood increases. Blood clotting majorly happens because of it.
A lot of people believe that opium can cure cardiac issues? Is it true?
A lot of people use it on those who lose consciousness. Sometimes, local wisdom can be useful. However, there is no scientific proof that opium can cure cardiac issues.
Lastly, how can people safeguard themselves from cardiac issues?
It is essential to keep a check on your blood pressure. Keep it under 120/80. Mostly, people do not have any symptoms of having blood pressure issues. Other than that, keep a check on your weight. That is very important. Do not be overweight or obese.
Your friends and family are the best remedies for stress. Meditation, brisk walk, cycling can be of great help. All of these activities increase positive cholesterol and decrease negative one. Also, raw sugar and smoking are harmful for your cardiac health. Keep a check on your sugar intake and quit smoking.