Young Indians below the age of 40 are succumbing to heart diseases

On World Heart Day, it is imperative to raise awareness on understanding the warning signs and adopting a better lifestyle

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Delhi, September 28, 2019: Young Indians are increasingly falling prey to heart diseases and there are about two million cases of heart attacks in a year alone in the country. Estimates indicate that about 50% of heart attacks occur in men less than 50 years of age and another 25% in those who are below the age of 40. On World Heart Day, there is a need to raise awareness on the fact that one must not ignore the first onset of acidity after the age of 40 and any other symptoms.

Indigestion/acidity, persistent cough, shortness of breath, constipation, fever, headache, and tiredness all the time are some common symptoms which many people ignore as normal. However, these are signs that the body gives out indicating some underlying condition. The first onset of acidity after age 40 could indicate an impending heart attack.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) & President CMAAO, said, “One should not ignore warning signals after the age of 40 as ‘time is life’ in medical science. The three cardinal warning signals are: anything which is unusual, anything which cannot be explained and any symptom appearing for the first time in life. Time is life is an old saying and in the event of a heart attack, time is muscle. In emergency medicine, the golden hour refers to the first hour following traumatic injury being sustained by a casualty, during which there is the highest likelihood that prompt medical treatment will prevent death. The platinum ten minutes refer to the first ten minutes after trauma and the importance of starting first aid within ten minutes to reduce the chances of death.”

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, said, “The risk of heart attack can be reduced by controlling the risk factors; eating a heart healthy diet; smoking cessation; reduced consumption of alcohol, salt and sugar; controlling hypertension and adequate amounts of physical activity. These are within our control and must be followed from a young age. However, cardiac arrest stems from electrical issues in heart that are beyond our control but following a general heart healthy lifestyle is known to reduce future risk. As doctors, it falls upon us to educate our patients and make them aware of ways to live a healthy lifestyle.”

Rules for preventing heart attack related deaths

  • Rule of 30 seconds: Chest pain, burning, discomfort, heaviness in the center of the chest lasting for over 30 seconds and not localized to a point unless proved otherwise is a heat pain.
  • Rule of pinpointing finger: Any chest pain which can be pinpointed by a finger is not a heart pain.
  • Rule of 40: First-onset acidity or first-onset asthma after the age of 40, rule out heart attack or heart asthma first
  • Rule of 300: Chew a tablet of water-soluble 300 mg aspirin and take 300 mg clopidogrel tablet at the onset of cardiac chest pain. You will not die.
  • Rule of 10: Within 10 minutes of death for the next 10 minutes do effective chest compression with a speed of (10 x10) 100 per minute. Most people can be saved.
  • Rule of 180: Reach hospital within 180 minutes in heart attack to receive clot dissolving angioplasty or clot dissolving drugs.

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