Heart attack known as myocardial infarction is a condition in which blood supply to the heart is cut off (blocked) due to any reason for more than 30 minutes then the heart muscles die. Once heart attack was only the issue of the elderly but now there is no age limit for heart attacks. People in the ’20s, ’30s and ’40s are having heart attacks. It is common among young adults and once it was an uncommon condition young. In every 5 patients with a heart attack, 1 is always a young adult who became the victim of a heart attack.
Between 2000 and 2016, the rate of heart attacks in this young age group climbed by 2% every year. Reference from https://www.cminj.com/blog/whats-behind-the-rise-in-heart-attacks-among-young-people
Following are the risk factors for the rise of a heart attack in young people. But among all of them type 2 diabetes is the major risk factor.
In diabetes, uncontrolled sugar level damages the blood vessels and fat build-up in blood vessels cause atherosclerosis. It blocks the arteries, and the coronary artery which supplies blood to the heart also gets affected so causing myocardial infarction. Diabetes also causes other health conditions which affect heart health like high blood pressure and high cholesterol, these two are major risk factors for heart attacks. Diabetic patients are 2-4 times more likely to die from heart disease compared with adults who don’t have it.
Hypertension means high blood pressure and it is increasingly common in young adults nowadays. Stress is common among young adults and the stress may be from a job or a general political conflict or demand for communication on social media or any reason. High blood pressure causes the coronary arteries to become narrow and fat builds up in narrowed arteries and cause atherosclerosis, so the artery becomes blocked or damaged and the blood supply to heart muscles gets affected and heart muscles die because of a lack of oxygen nutrients and heart attack or sudden cardiac death occurs. Hypertension is also a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases.
Obesity or overweight is also a common problem of young adults and it is because of a sedentary lifestyle or physical inactivity. Young adults of this generation are having an unhealthy diet and no physical activity, laying on the bed working, with their laptops the whole day, all this is causing obesity to be common and obesity is a risk factor for heart attack. Obese individuals require more blood supply for their body which in turn increases their blood pressure and blood pressure too, taking part in causing a heart attack. Heart attacks aren’t the only medical condition caused by obesity it also causes high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes and all of these factors ultimately contribute to causing a heart attack.
Smoking is a top risk factor for heart attacks and it is common in young adults. As depression is rising among young adults they use cigarettes to cope with depression. Smoking one pack a day more than doubles your risk for a heart attack compared with nonsmokers.
Particles in cigarette smoke harden the blood vessels and narrowed them so it increases blood pressure and nicotine also raises the heart rate and causes the heart to pump rapidly, so blood pressure rises up and causes a heart attack.
How to Prevent?
All the above-mentioned risk factors are the leading cause of rising in heart attacks among young adults and all we need is prevention. The 1st step in prevention is to educate the people about the risk factors of cardiovascular diseases, and it comes under primary prevention.
According to Dr Laffin “We need to set good habits for ourselves and for our children, especially with how childhood obesity will come into play with this.”
Here are a few tips that help to reduce the risk of a heart attack at an early age:
- Take high-fibre diet
- Reduce the salt intake
- Stop smoking and also avoid passive smoke
- Do exercises and maintain an active lifestyle
- Monitor blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure every 6 months
- Avoid junk foods