Why Are Youngsters Vulnerable To Sudden Cardiac Arrest? Know How To Prevent This


Unhealthy diet, smoking, high pollution levels, sedentary lifestyles and work stress have become unwelcome companions, casting shadows on both mental and physical well-being, particularly the well-being of our hearts. Additionally, these have escalated stress levels in younger generations. Dr. Indranil Basu Ray who is a Cardiologist and Cardiac Electrophysiologist said, “Work stress encompasses a wide spectrum of emotional, mental, and physical strain stemming from various work-related factors, such as overwhelming workloads, unrelenting deadlines, the elusive quest for work-life balance, and challenging workplace dynamics. It is a silent predator that can lead to burnout, hamper productivity, and many health diseases, particularly concerning heart health.”

Impact Of Work Stress On Heart Health

Dr. Indranil said that stress is not merely a psychological foe; it is a physiological saboteur.

“When stress strikes, it leads to an increase in heart rate and blood pressure and the release of stress hormones. These physiological responses place a tremendous burden on your cardiovascular system. In fact, chronic stress at work has been linked to an elevated risk of coronary heart disease. Yet, the exact mechanisms underlying this connection remain a subject of ongoing research,” he added.

What Is Sudden Cardiac Arrest?


Dr. Rakesh Rai Sapra, who is the Director & HOD of the Department of Cardiology at Marengo Asia Hospitals, Faridabad said, “Sudden cardiac arrest means sudden cessation of cardiac function or the sudden stoppage of heart beating. This essentially is due to an electrical abnormality of heart which in medical terms is called an arrhythmia. In this either there is sudden and complete loss of electrical activity of heart which leads to stoppage of cardiac contractions and is called asystole or the heart beats abnormally fast in which case the heart pumping becomes totally ineffective and is called ventricular fibrillation.” 


Is Sudden Cardiac Arrest Different From Heart Attack?


Dr. Rakesh Rai Sapra said, “Yes, sudden cardiac arrest and heart attack are different. As mentioned earlier sudden cardiac arrest means sudden stoppage of heart beat, but heart attack means sudden occlusion of blood supply to a portion of heart. Although both are cardiac emergencies, sudden cardiac arrest is more dangerous and if not immediately helped, at that very moment by cardiac resuscitation, will lead to death within minutes. Heart attack on the other hand is not so catastrophic and patient can be taken to hospital for urgent treatment. However it should be remembered that heart attack can lead to abnormal heart beating or arrhythmia and is the commonest cause of sudden cardiac arrest.”


Warning Signs Of Sudden Cardiac Arrest? 


Talking about the signs which indicate sudden cardiac arrest, Dr. Rakesh Rai Sapra said that some of them are sudden loss of consciousness, lack of pulse and no breathing, adding that there are some signs and symptoms which may occur before cardiac arrest and so may be considered as warning signs or symptoms.


“These include dizziness or light headedness, palpitation or feeling of fast heart beating, feeling of profound weakness or heart sinking sensation, sudden chest pain and sudden shortness of breath. But these symptoms are not specific and can occur in other illnesses also,” said Dr. Rakesh Rai Sapra


Why Are Youngsters More Vulnerable To Sudden Cardiac Arrest? 


Most common cause of such sudden cardiac arrest is coronary artery disease, accounting for nearly 80% of such cases. Coronary artery disease (CAD) is a narrowing or blockage of your coronary arteries which supply blood to the heart. CAD occurs when coronary arteries can not supply enough oxygen-rich blood to the heart. Whenever there is sudden obstruction of a heart artery, it gives rise to heart attack. At the time of heart attack there is a markedly increased risk of abnormal heart beating which is called arrhythmia and that raises the risk of sudden cardiac arrest. Although coronary artery disease is a disease of the elderly population however it is being seen to progressively increase in younger population.


Talking about the reason behind this Dr. Rakesh Rai Sapra said, “Unhealthy dietary habits, lack of physical activity and indulgence into bad habits especially smoking, and heavy alcohol use are making the younger population more prone to coronary artery disease. Also indulgence into other bad habits like drinking and drugs, which are known to precipitate abnormal heart rhythms or arrhythmias, makes younger people more susceptible. Lastly, another precipitating factor for sudden cardiac arrest which had led to many young deaths last year, is indulging in excessive unaccustomed physical activity. Such a surge of unaccustomed physical activity may turn fatal.”


How To Prevent Sudden Cardiac Arrests In Youngsters? 


Dr Ram Naresh, who is a Consultant Cardiologist, at Apollo Clinic HSR Layout, Bengaluru said, “Preventing sudden cardiac arrest in youngsters involves a combination of lifestyle choices, early detection, and awareness. Encourage youngsters to engage in regular physical activity and exercise, as it promotes overall cardiovascular health. However, it’s essential to have a balance and not overexert oneself. Additionally, it is important to promote a balanced and healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and limited processed foods. Avoid excessive intake of sugary beverages and high-sodium foods.”

“Educate youngsters about the dangers of smoking, vaping, and recreational drug use. These substances can have a significant impact on heart health. If youngsters choose to consume alcohol, encourage moderation as excessive alcohol use can increase the risk of heart problems. Ensure that youngsters have regular check-ups with a healthcare provider. These check-ups can detect underlying heart conditions early on,” he coninued to say

Yoga For Combating Modern-Day Stress

Yoga, with its roots in ancient India, is a practice that combines physical postures, breath control, and meditation to foster holistic well-being. It seeks to strike a harmonious balance between the mind, body, and spirit, rendering it a formidable ally in the battle against stress and an invaluable asset in nurturing heart health.

In this regard, Dr. Indranil said, “Recent scientific studies have uncovered yoga’s exceptional ability to lower work-related stress. This ancient practice helps reduce stress by instilling mindfulness, promoting deep breathing, and facilitating relaxation. By focusing on the present moment and forging a connection with your breath, yoga helps you to ease tension, pacify your mind, and cultivate an inner sense of tranquility.”

[Disclaimer: The information provided in the article, including treatment suggestions shared by doctors, is intended for general informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.]

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