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Young but not so healthy

Aug 31 , 2012 Kusum Kanojia

Avoid sedentary lifestyle to minimise the risk of heart attack at young age

at risk The cases of youngsters getting heart attacks are on rise in the City.

Stressful jobs, sedentary lifestyles, late night shifts and unhealthy food are making the youngsters prone to heart attacks and heart diseases. The cases of young students and professionals between the age groups of 20s to early 30s getting heart attack are on rise in the City.

According to cardiologists, stress and smoking among youngsters besides family history add to this risk.


Take the case of Sumit Sharma, who at 28, suffered five hearts in the space of a day, recently! Working in a BPO with graveyard shifts and a heavy smoker Sumit’s may not be an isolated case.


While one has no other option other than to get used to the stressful life in this competitive age, by bringing some modifications in their lifestyle, this risk can be minimised. Dr Praveen Chandra, cardiologist, Medanta Medicity Hospital, says it is directly related to one’s lifestyle. “Those who work late nights often don’t take home made food and end up eating unhealthy and oily junk food.


Exercise too is also not part of the plan – either because of routine or out of habit. If the office does not provide an option of healthy food, one must bring home tiffin,” he says.
“For instance in Gurgaon, we have so many call centres and as many eating joints. Youngsters normally step out of office for a cigarette break. But you will not see fruit vendors or eating joints around kiosks which can give them a healthier option to choose from,” says Dr Praveen.


Though it is not related to some specific profession, those into long working hours, stressful working environments and shift jobs are more at risk. Dr Kamaldeep Singh, consultant cardiologist, Columbia Asia, Gurgaon, says, “I have seen patients as young as 19 suffering a major heart attack. Smoking is one of the biggest reasons that trigger the attack. Nowadays, youngsters develop chain-smoking habits or alcohol by age 15-16 and by the time they are in early 20s, they are at a huge risk of an attack.


“Besides, mental peace is not part of a professional’s package these days and what makes it worse is the unhealthy food. Besides, those suffering from hyper-tension and diabetes need to be extra careful,” he cautions.


Even though it cannot be avoided completely, the risk can be minimised by managing one’s lifestyle. This covers all aspects like controlling drinking and smoking, doing regular relaxation exercises and yoga.


Excessive tea and coffee can also be bad for the heart. Coffee if taken in moderation i.e. two cups a day is good as it contains flavonoids but excess leads to increased heart rate.
“The diet should include fruits and vegetables, salads and fish.


“Fat rich diet like red meat, fried food, excessive cheese and butter should be avoided,” advises, Dr Hemlata Tiwari, HoD, Cardiology, Rockland Hospital.


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