Heart issues among younger adults cause of alarm

Business MInutes

Tamil Nadu has the third highest mortality rate due to Cardiovascular Diseases (CVDs) in India with over 36 per cent of deaths each year being attributed to heart-related ailments, according to a study published in University Journal Of Medicine And Medical Specialities.

What was once considered a risk factor only for the elderly is now rising at an alarming rate amongst younger population as well.

Another study focussed on the Coimbatore region revealed that 52 per cent of CVD deaths in the region occur before the age of 70 years; this number is about 23 per cent in Western countries.

In view of this alarming trend, doctors sought to spread awareness about heart health and the need for timely intervention on the occasion of World Heart Day.

Risk factors that affect the young

The primary risk factors that predispose individuals to heart diseases are lifestyle disorders, including high cholesterol, hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes, and obesity, among others. Unhealthy habits such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, sedentary lifestyles, and a diet rich in junk food further contribute to heart disease. Additionally, a hectic lifestyle, congenital disorders, or a family history of heart issues can increase the risk of developing cardiac problems.”

Coronary Artery Disease

Out of the number of heart ailments, one of the diseases that is being increasingly seen among youngsters (<40 population) is Coronary Artery Disease (CAD).

“People who are not careful about healthy living aspects are more prone to CAD. The preferred treatment option for CAD is coronary angioplasty and stent placement, a minimally invasive procedure that opens clogged heart arteries. Today with the availability of Bioresorbable stents, treatment outcomes have also become better,” said Dr. Rajpal K Abaichand, GKNM Hospital, Coimbatore.

Aortic Stenosis

Another heart disease that has been gaining more attention across India over the years is aortic stenosis. It is more common among the 65-plus population, or younger people with congenital heart defects.

“Aortic stenosis is a condition where the heart valve controlling blood flow weakens or narrows, demands special attention. Symptoms include shortness of breath, chest pain, fatigue, and dizziness. Left untreated, it can lead to severe complications. In Coimbatore alone, the incidence of aortic stenosis is alarmingly high, underscoring the need for awareness and intervention,” Dr. Thomas Alexander, KMCH Hospital, Coimbatore explained.

To combat aortic stenosis, medical professionals have embraced Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR), a minimally invasive procedure that results in less pain and a faster recovery process. TAVR/TAVI often allows for shorter hospital stays, reducing the burden on patients and improving their quality of life.

Embracing the latest technology

According to a 2018 report by WHO, an estimated 80 per cent of premature heart attacks and strokes that occur in the South Asia region are entirely preventable.

That makes encouraging heart health – including through healthy eating, exercise and avoiding tobacco – a priority.

Early detection and timely interventions play a critical role in safeguarding heart health. Therefore, increasing awareness is important; as is treatment.


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