World Heart Day 2021: Why Heart Attacks On The Rise In Young People

In an exclusive interaction with Healthwire, Dr. Z S Meharwal – Executive Director, CTVS, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute explained why has heart attack become so prevalent in young people.

vacations can lower heart diseases
De-stress, and those with Covid need to go for regular screening of their heart as recommended by the doctor.

There are many misconceptions that are associated with heart disease in young people. Many people believe that children and young adults cannot develop heart diseases. People assume that heart diseases especially Heart Attack only occurs in people more than 50-55 years of age, but unfortunately, this is a completely false assumption and any heart disease, even a heart attack, can occur at any age. In fact, many people can begin to develop plaques in their arteries right from their childhood. This can lead to further heart diseases with the rise in the age of the children. The same is the scenario with young women where heart disease is slowly becoming a leading cause of death leaving behind breast cancer, said Dr. TS Kler, Chairman, Fortis Heart & Vascular Institute, Gurugram & Fortis Hospital, Vasant Kunj.

It affects women of all ages including women who are in their late 30s or early 40s.

So, the point is very clear that heart diseases are not limited to middle-aged or old aged people, but can happen to anybody at any age.

In an exclusive interaction with Healthwire, Dr. Z S Meharwal – Executive Director, CTVS, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute explained why has heart attack become so prevalent in young people.

He said, “It is really disappointing that we are seeing patients coming to us with a heart attack in their 30s and 40s in fact we have seen patients in their mid-20s, I operated on a patient who was only 24 who required a bypass which is quite disappointing. Any heart attack takes place due to blockage in the arteries so it is very important that a person goes for a regular health checkup.”

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Dr. TS Kler said there are few reasons for heart diseases in people of young age:

  1. Family History:

This is an important reason for increased heart diseases in young people. For example, familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) can lead to heart disease at an early age. This condition causes a buildup of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in the walls of arteries and can lead to a heart attack. The risk may increase by as high as 20 per cent in women who smoke while using oral contraception.

  1. Diabetes:

Young people with diabetes have almost double the risk of cardiovascular disease than those without.

  1. Smoking:

Smoking is also a major contributor to heart attacks in young people. The tradition of smoking in young people is really dangerous in terms of the development of cardiac diseases.

  1. Truncal Obesity:

Obesity can lead to an increased risk of premature death due to metabolic syndrome, diabetes, hypertension, and coronary artery disease.

  1. Tobacco:

Apart from Smoking, other forms of Tobacco Consumption are also associated with increased heart attacks in the younger population.

  1. Sedentary Lifestyle:

Lack of physical activities, desk jobs, sedentary and stressful lifestyle is becoming a major cause of heart diseases in young people.


  1. Genetic Diseases:

Certain genetic Diseases may cause Cardiac Arrest in young people like hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. This type of disease can be easily detected by screening, particularly if one is going to participate in competitive sports.

  1. Drugs:

Another common cause for heart attacks in affluent or rich young adults is the use of drugs such as cocaine.

  1. Increases blood clotting:

Certain genetic diseases or certain infections such as Covid infections are known to be associated with increased blood clotting and are an important reason for heart attack in young people. Such patients have to be on blood thinner medicines.

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