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Risk factors associated with heart attack
So when do we get the heart attack? What kind of people gets the heart attack? Previously people used to think heart attack belongs to the elderly people, post-retirement people. No, the heart attacks are happening, like 20% of the heart attacks are happening in the 40s. Alarmingly we have seen last one week, the 30s, that is, the 30s are the new 40s. From age 30 onwards the heart attack incidents are increasing. So now we see that age is no longer a criteria or factor for heart attack, although overall we have seen that the elderly people are supposedly more prone to heart stroke more frequently than the younger people. The people with diabetes or sugar, with hypertension, people with high cholesterol, people who are obese, the people who are more than the normal weight, people whose family members had a heart attack at any age. For example, somebody’s ancestors or father or mother, or elder brother or younger, or elder sister had a heart attack, at 60 or at any age, then the chances of a heart attack are more in the person.
And of course, cigarette smoking. Cigarette smoking is an important cause of heart attack in any people. Cigarette smoking is one of the worst habits anybody can have, and it is killing many of the young people. Cigarette smoking is an important cause of heart attack and you must quit smoking altogether. Also, lack of exercise, and stress, physical or mental stress, anxiety- These are some of the risk factors that can be getting you a heart attack. If you are diabetic, have a tight control of your diabetes, if you have hypertension, you will regularly check your BP, check your sugar, take control of both of them. You should check your cholesterol, from age 20 onwards. If your cholesterol is high, control your cholesterol with a change in lifestyle and if a doctor prescribes you a tablet. Regularly check your cholesterol and keep it in control. Regular exercise is important, at least 30-40 minutes regularly, is must for everybody. If you are smoking, please quit smoking. Smoking is the commonest cause of death in any people. Young heart attack victims, most of them are smokers. If they quit smoking, the incidence comes down significantly. Take a balanced, healthy diet. Take small portions and see that your physical activities, not only the 30-40 minutes of exercise but all through the day you are physically active.
Can heart attack happen in women? Many people think that heart attack is a disease of men. Contrary to that popular belief, a heart attack is a number 1 killer in women as well. It is not breast cancer, ovarian cancer, cervical cancer; it is not any other illnesses, that we think women suffer from. It is the heart attack, which is number 1 killer in women as well. So women beware, it is not just men’s disease, it is your disease as well. And whatever I said about control, it applies to you all as well. Actually after age 50 onwards, after attaining menopause, women are more prone to heart attack than men. They have less prognosis, fewer survival rates, the chances of coming out of the hospital healthy is not equal to that of men. So women beware, you are more prone to heart attack than men, after age 50 than men. So as you see here, here is the evaluation; less than 30 years of age, heart attack rates are slowly increasing from 8.3 to 10.7, and as the year's progress, a number of young people are suffering a heart attack. It used to be a disease of the elderly more than 50 years of age, and now we are seeing the disease in the young people. And this is very, very alarming. Any victim, any heart attack victim, in families, small children fall prey to this disease, which is very, very alarming. You should have good knowledge of this condition and healthy lifestyle, and also, keep checking your parameters, your BP, and must keep checking or conducting tests, so that if something is happening (symptoms of heart attack) you can diagnose at an early age and prevent it.
What happens inside the heart when you get a heart attack? See, the cholesterol is here. There is no blood flow to the heart muscle. See this is a normal healthy heart, the heart muscles are reddish, but here it has become black when the heart attack is happening. That’s the inside story of what is happening. So inside the blood vessels, that is the blood vessels of the heart, the cholesterol is building up, the cholesterol blocks and captures, it causes blood clots. The blood clots for a few minutes, that is why the heart attack comes all of a sudden. The build up cholesterol takes weeks or months, but the heart attack comes very fast. So how do we treat? We can give medicines, do an angioplasty stenting. We all know about the stent. When the vessel is blocked, we put a stent, and then the vessel here is normal, it is flowing well now. Or we can do a bypass surgery.
When blocks are there in different places (of the heart), we can take a new pipe from the leg or from the chest and stitch it here, so that the blood flows to the new pipe, as the old pipes are blocked. So friends, today we have briefly discussed what is chest pain? All chest pains we found out do not heart pains. What is heart pain? What are the symptoms of heart pain? What it looks like? How to differentiate it? May it be the day, night, any kind of circumstances, you need to transport the patient to the nearest hospital. After getting treated for heart disease, it is a lifelong discipline that you need to maintain, the drugs are for lifelong, the medicines etc are all lifelong. You need to continue following the doctor’s advice and attend the doctor at periodic intervals. You have to quit smoking, you must take a healthier diet, you need to have an ideal body weight, you should exercise properly. And this knowledge, if you have gained anything, from my talk, then please spread to everybody; see that everybody is aware of this condition. As we discussed just now, that it is alarmingly true that the heart attack is happening in the 40s and the 30s, and that is an alarming situation.
You should make sure that everybody gets this knowledge and ultimately this knowledge will prevent this heart attack. Thank You very much- Dr. Balaji Rajamagiri, Cardiologist.