Contributed by: Anjali Sharma
The threat and occurrence of heart attack is common among elderly people. However, the medical evidence shows that the prevalence of heart attacks among younger people has increased over the past few years.
Myocardial infarction is commonly known as a heart attack. It is a very serious disease brought on by the heart muscle’s lack of blood supply. Although there are several potential causes, a blockage in one or more of your heart’s arteries is the most common one.
Heart attack, cardiac arrest, and other cardiovascular disorders have remained a major global health concern, but it has only lately been more common to detect and report cardiovascular issues in the younger population.
Although physicians and other medical professionals haven’t yet come up with a definitive explanation for these incidents, they have identified a few potential contributing elements.
According to a survey, one out of every five heart attack patients is younger than 40 years of age.
Age and Risk of Heart attack
Your chance of having a heart attack rises as you age. This is a result of physical changes to your circulatory system, and your heart, in particular, says the National Institute on Aging.
Your heart might alter in a number of ways as you get older:
Fatty deposits might accumulate
Your artery walls may accumulate fatty deposits over time. The coronary arteries, which feed your heart muscle with blood and oxygen, may constrict as a result of this. Atherosclerosis is the term for this.
The arteries might stiffen
Your arteries may stiffen and harden as you age. Your chance of having a heart attack might rise if your arteries are less flexible and inflexible, particularly if you have fatty deposits inside of them.
Valves can operate less efficiently
Four valves in your heart open and close to maintain blood flow in the proper direction. These valves may thicken, stiffen, or leak with time. Your heart must work harder to regulate blood flow as a result.
Electric impulses might alter
As you become older, your heart’s electrical impulses could also change. An arrhythmia may occur as a result of this. A heartbeat that is too rapid, too slow or irregular is known as an arrhythmia.
Sodium sensitivity might become more acute
Due to ageing, some people become more sensitive to sodium, or salt. Your chance of having a heart attack may increase as a result of this.
Heart attacks and youngsters
Since the dawn of time, cardiovascular disorders have existed. It has been wreaking havoc for a long time and was neither recently diagnosed nor detected.
Cardiac disorders, however, have discovered a way to afflict the younger population as well, straying from their usual pattern of focusing on the elderly and those with pre-existing heart ailments.
There are other factors involved in premature heart attacks than smoking and substance usage among younger people. Numerous elements are probably involved, notably risk elements that are more prevalent in younger people, like:
- Dyslipidemia, or abnormally high amounts of lipids or fats in the blood, includes triglycerides and LDL cholesterol
Additionally, experts believe that early introduction of preventative medical treatment and lifestyle adjustments is lacking. Certain lifestyle choices, such as smoking, eating poorly, and getting little exercise, can have long-term implications on cardiovascular health.
Young people today seldom have their hearts scanned. People who haven’t had a pre-cardiac checkup before going to the gym start lifting weights, which thickens the heart, working out on the treadmill, and doing cross-training.
Some people even take supplements that are harmful and harm the heart, resulting in arrhythmia.
Due to elevated cholesterol or other hereditary reasons, a person in their twenties gradually starts to develop minor blockages.
The exertion on the heart, however, causes clots to form close to the already present blockages.
This can result in clots and even a heart attack, when the person faces an acutely stressful event, engages in significant physical exertion without adequate preparation or experiences severe biological stressors.
The majority of medical practitioners are aware that this rise is a direct result of Covid-19 as the condition severely affects the patient’s blood vessels.
Will exercise and healthy eating habits help? Or do genetic factors play a key role in a heart attack?
There is no denying that leading a healthy lifestyle helps prevent cardiovascular diseases as well as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and hyperglycemia.
A healthy diet and regular exercise are undoubtedly essential for preventing diseases. There is more to it than what first appears, though, given the rising number of young cardiac patients who are more knowledgeable and aware.
Most often, it is noted that this hereditary transmission of cardiovascular disease mostly occurs on the father’s side rather than the mother’s.
The younger generation is influenced by this genetic transmission around 5–10 years before the older generation—their parents. When the hereditary pattern is established, there is little that can be done to totally avoid cardiovascular disease, but its risk factors can be reduced.
Preventive measures for heart attack
The most crucial step is to have your heart checked. If a person has a significant family history of heart conditions, they should, if necessary, see a cardiologist or cardiac electrophysiologist.
Doctors suggest reducing sedentary behaviour, reducing excessive sugar intake, monitoring lipids, reducing fat intake, and quitting smoking and alcohol use, which raise the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Heart attacks can occur at any age but the high risk rises with growing age.
Male gender and a family history of heart disease both raise the risk of a heart attack.
With the help of genetic testing, you can predict the predisposition of a heart attack. As chances of getting a heart attack also depend upon the family history.
Many risk factors are under your control, even if certain risk factors cannot be altered. These include habits like consuming too much alcohol, smoking, eating a poor diet, and not exercising enough.
Consult your doctor to determine the best course of therapy if you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, or any other illnesses that might raise your chance of having a heart attack.
Furthermore, you should also undergo preventive health checkups. These health checkups give a complete report about your health, allowing you to take necessary precautionary measures to improve your well-being and keep a host of ailments at bay.