Junk foodies, youngsters becoming more vulnerable to heart attacks
Bengaluru: A 22-year-old engineering student felt uncomfortable in the middle of his chest while having breakfast. As someone who loves junk food, he attributed the pain to the pizza that he had eaten the previous night but the discomfort increased in intensity despite taking some antacids.
On his visit to the hospital, he was tested for chest pain.
He was found to have had a massive heart attack on the electrocardiogram (ECG). It was also found that there was a big clot in the main artery that supplies blood to the heart, which was sucked out using special catheters.
A stent (a tube designed to be inserted into a blood vessel or passageway to keep it open) was not placed as there was no significant cholesterol blockage and the doctors put the student on blood thinners.
Heart attacks for young adults is caused due to sudden blockage in the arteries (coronary arteries) that supplies blood to the heart.
The blockages can be in the form of cholesterol deposits and blood clots.
Dr S Guru Prasad, Consultant, Interventional Cardiologist, BGS Gleneagles Global Hospitals, says “The student was an overweight and a non-smoker, which is the most common risk factor among young adults.
There was no significant abnormality in his blood tests as well.
On digging deep into his lifestyle, the only glaring finding was that he had hit the gym recently to reduce weight, which sounds innocuous, but it can be a very important precipitating cause for a heart attack. Having said that, I request people working out in the gym not to panic but be cautious.”
Studies reveal that aerobic exercises of moderate intensity which means a workout for 30 minutes a day are best for the heart.
Any vigorous physical exercise without a proper warm up can cause a plaque rupture in the coronary arteries which lead to clot formation and heart attack.
Though muscle building exercises may give a sense of being healthy, doctors say it is not good for the heart in the long run.
However, it is said that whatever may be the form of exercise, it has to be a graded one, implying a gradual increase in intensity and duration.
The other tips include proper supervision, adequate hydration and a strict no to anabolic steroids.
The engineering student says, “It was just a few days since I had started going to the gym to reduce my weight. I was too enthusiastic about my daily workout routine. That day, I had gone for my regular workout when I experienced severe chest pain and had to be taken to the hospital. No one in my family had ever thought that I would suffer from such a massive heart attack. They always thought that it is a disease of the older generation. Now, I am more careful about my exercise regime and I am following my doctor’s instructions to lead a healthy life.”