Rise in cardiac arrest cases among youngsters alarming
Hyderabad: The sudden death of 21- year-old B. Vaishnav, the son of former Union minister Bandaru Dattatreya, has rung alarm bells about the increasing number of cardiac problems in young people.
Cardioogist Dr Hygriv Rao says that when an individual with no particular disease drops dead unexpectedly, it is known as a sudden cardiac arrest. “Nearly 10 per cent of sudden deaths in our country are due to cardiac arrests and nearly 30 per cent of the same are people under 40 years of age. It can be a premature coronary heart attack because of genetic reasons that can affect the lower chambers of the heart making it thick, and occasional viral infections that can cause ventricular arrhythmia.”
Most autopsies of youngsters cannot pinpoint a cause and the diagnosis of heart problems in youngsters can be made through an ECG but not many young people would go for a check up.
There are rumours that Vaishnav was dieting to lose weight, which could have been a factor, but medical experts say that it cannot be the cause. Dr Arun Roy, a interventional cardiologist says, “Vigorous fasting and aggressive workouts for a long period of time can cause heart problems but these patients can be instantly recognised because they will be exceptionally thin and their parents will normally inform the doctor that their ward has been crash dieting. One should try to lead a healthy lifestyle with the right food choices and exercise and not try specific types of diets not meant for their body, or pop pills.” The importance of CPR is crucial in case of sudden heart attacks.
“CPR or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, if administered immediately boosts the chances of saving a life. When a person loses consciousness, try to ensure that in the next four minutes, his/her brain receives blood,” says Dr Rao.