Heart attacks are often thought of as a problem of older people, they can occur at any age and are becoming more common in young adults. It was rare for anyone younger than 40 to have a heart attack but now According to the India Heart Association, 25% of all heart attacks in Indian men occur under the age of 40.
A study conducted by INTERHEART data revealed an acute myocardial infarction (MI) prevalence of 11.7% in India in patients aged below 40 years.
According to WHO (World Health Organization), cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the leading cause of death globally. An estimated 17.9 million people died from CVDs in 2019, representing 32% of all global deaths. Of these deaths, 85% were due to heart attack and stroke.
A heart attack, also known as a myocardial infarction, occurs when the blood supply to the heart muscle is blocked, usually by a build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries. This can cause part of the heart muscle to be damaged or die, leading to chest pain, shortness of breath, and other symptoms.
Young adults are defined as individuals between the ages of 18 and 40. The causes of heart attacks in young adults are often different than in older adults. While older adults tend to have traditional risk factors, young adults may have underlying conditions such as congenital heart defects, inflammation of the heart, or genetic predispositions.
Understanding the risk factors, warning signs, and preventive measures for heart attacks in young adults can help individuals take steps to reduce their risk and improve their overall heart health.
There are several risk factors that increase the risk of a heart attack in young adults. These include:
- Congenital heart defects: These are present at birth. These defects can cause abnormalities in the heart’s structure, leading to a higher risk of a heart attack.
- Inflammation: Inflammation of the heart, also known as myocarditis, is another cause of heart attacks in young adults. Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle, which can be caused by a viral infection, an autoimmune disease, or other underlying conditions.
- Genetics and family history: Certain genetic conditions, such as familial hypercholesterolemia. It can increase the risk of heart attack by causing high levels of cholesterol in the blood. Family history is also a risk factor for heart attack, as heart disease can be inherited from parents.
- Lifestyle factors: Lifestyle factors, such as drug use, excessive alcohol consumption, and high-stress lifestyles, can also increase the risk of a heart attack in young adults. Drug use, particularly cocaine, and methamphetamine, can cause the heart to work harder, leading to a heart attack. Excessive alcohol consumption can also increase the risk of heart attack by increasing blood pressure and damaging the heart muscle. High-stress lifestyles, including long working hours and high-pressure jobs. It can increase the risk of heart attack by causing chronic stress and elevating cortisol levels.
It is important to understand that multiple factors can contribute to the risk of a heart attack in young adults. And some individuals may have a combination of risk factors. Additionally, some individuals may have no obvious risk factors and may still develop a heart attack.
There are several warning signs that young adults should be aware of in order to detect a heart attack early. These include chest pain or discomfort, shortness of breath, lightheadedness, excessive sweating, and upper body pain or discomfort.
If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Prompt treatment can greatly improve your chances of recovery and minimize damage to your heart.
Preventive measures for heart attack
Preventive measures for heart attack in young adults include lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy diet, engaging in regular physical activity, quitting smoking, and limiting alcohol consumption. Regular medical check-ups and monitoring of risk factors such as blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and BMI can also help to reduce the risk of a heart attack.
OMRON offers a variety of BP Machine like Omron BP Monitor that helps individuals to monitor their blood pressure levels and detect potential heart problems early.
OMRON body composition monitors (BCM) help individuals track their fat percentage, muscle percentage, BMI, resting metabolic rate, and body age are some of the common indicators of overall body composition. Which can help detect and manage risk factors for heart attack, such as obesity.
OMRON Healthcare provides a range of monitoring devices that can help individuals detect and manage risk factors for heart attack and help to improve overall health outcomes. Regular monitoring and management of risk factors can be a crucial part of heart attack prevention.
Heart attacks in young adults are a growing concern and can have serious consequences. By being aware of the warning signs, risk factors, and preventive measures. Young adults can take steps to reduce their risk and improve their overall heart health.