20-25% of heart diseases occur toindividuals below 40 years of age
A 35-year-old MBA planned his wedding in his hometown.Just two weeks before the marriage ceremony, he suffered a major heart attack and was immediately taken to emergency care. Doctors advised him to undergo anangiogram. The results that followed not only showed serious complications in his heartbut also soaring bad cholesterol levels. While he does not have a family history of any heart conditions or hypertension, howeverdue to excessive smoking and lack of exercise, the good cholesterol levels in his body were, gradually leading to the current complication.Over the next few months, he was prescribed statin therapy amongst other medications. Regular medication combined with healthy lifestyle (balanced diet and exercise)subsequently normalized his condition.
Commenting on the rise in cases of coronary heart disease below the age of 40, Dr. R Ravindran, Consultant Intervention Cardiologist, Assistant Professor of Cardiology and Head of the Department, SRM Medical College, Trichy said “There has been a rise in the incidence of heart diseases in young Indians due to their sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy dietary habits. 20-25% of heart attacks among our patients, occur in individuals below 40 years of age. We are seeing college-going students between the age group of 20-25 having heart attacks that is mainly attributable to smoking. High levels of bad cholesterol combined with low levels of good cholesterol is an important risk factor for developing heart attacks. In addition to low cholesterol diet and regular exercise, statins are an important class of drugs that has been proven to reduce bad cholesterol and heart attacks. I urge heart patients to adhere to their prescribed medications like statins and aspirin, which are effective in reducing the number and severity of subsequent heart attacks.”
Dr. Vivek Sundaram, Consultant in Internal Medicine, Diabetes, and Critical Care at Sundaram Hospitalalso added, “Increasing levels of bad cholesterol is a silent manifestation of a more dreadful disease growing in the body. If cholesterol levels are abnormalthen the risk of developing heart conditions multiplies. High cholesterol levels have also been linked to diabetes. At my clinic, 90% patients who havediabetes areon cholesterol medication as they have some form of cholesterol abnormality, either a low good cholesterol i.e. HDL or high levels of bad cholesterol i.e. LDL and high Triglycerides. This puts people at an increased risk of a heart attack or stroke.It is recommended to follow a balanced diet and regular exercise. Currently, statins are the best medicines to decrease the bad cholesterol levels and significantly lowers your risk of developing cardiovascular diseases like heart attack.”
Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the major cause of deaths in India and high levels of cholesterol is the key reason behind the high rates of CVD, suggests a 2018 WHO report. The world organization has set the goal to reduce non-communicable diseases like heart attack and failure by 25% by 2025 and educate citizens about the ill-effects of high cholesterol – key to improve the quality of their life.