Managing cardiovascular risk in young adults – A Growing Menace in younger people

Managing cardiovascular risk in young adults – A Growing Menace in younger people

The average age for a first heart attack in men & women is 65. That’s why coronary artery disease is labelled a disease of senior citizens. But as many as 4% to 10% of all heart attacks occur before age 45, and most of these strike men.

It’s a reminder that men should not ignore warning symptoms just because they are “too young” to have heart disease. And since atherosclerosis can start in youth, therefore prevention should start early in life before problems develop.

About 60% of these young patients have disease of just one coronary artery, while older patients are more likely to have disease in two or three arteries. Educating parents, adolescents, and young adults about the different risk factors is the best way to help prevent death and reduce problems associated with cardiac disease.

Young adults with hyperlipidemia, hypertension, and diabetes are at increased risk of developing heart disease later in life. Obesity can lead to precursors for CVD.

Key Risk Factors:

What are the causes of a premature heart attack?

  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol levels
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Diabetes
  • Poor diet

Controlling risk factors like diabetes, hypertension, and lipid disorder will prevent the genesis of atherosclerosis. Lifestyle management is very useful but the use of statins (cholesterol-lowering drugs), anti-hypertensive and anti-diabetic drugs are essential to control risk factors.

How to prevent premature heart attack in young Indians?

Both mental and physical stress is high in today’s society, particularly in the young population. Highly competitive and intense work demands lead to an increase in risk factors for heart diseases, such as stress, increased incidences of diabetes and blood pressure. These conditions are aggravated by smoking, excessive consumption of alcohol, lack of exercise, and lack of sleep.

Lifestyle modification will be a key factor to reduce the risk factors as well as prevent premature heart attacks. This approach is simple, affordable, and effective.