According to the Indian Heart Association, the heart disease rate among Indians is double that of national averages in the western world. This may be attributed to an underlying genetic predisposition to metabolic deregulation and cardiomyopathy, along with an increase in modifiable risk factors, including a faulty diet and higher stress levels in everyday living.
The data further suggests that 50 percent of all heart attacks in Indian men occur when they are below 50 years of age, and 25% of all heart attacks among Indian men occur under 40 years of age, which is quite a shocking statistic. Also, Indian women have high mortality rates from cardiac disease as well. While it is impossible to modify certain risk factors like age, family history, and sex, multiple lifestyle changes can go a long way in helping you mitigate the risk of cardiac issues. Some ways to boost heart health and ensure it does not cause casualties, include untimely death.
Smoking can cause various health complications, including CVD (cardiovascular diseases), that can damage your overall health and well-being. Since chemicals in tobacco can cause severe damage to the heart and blood vessels, resulting in unnecessary stress to the heart, which will have to pump harder to supply oxygen to various body organs. Additionally, second-hand or exposure to cigarette smoke can be equally dangerous, so make sure you avoid the same.
If you are a smoker, don't fret as there is good news the moment you decide to quit smoking, your risk of heart disease begins to drop. So irrespective of how long you have been smoking, it is always a good idea to stop smoking as soon as possible.
Having a daily regime that includes at least 30-45 minutes can go a long way in lowering your chances of developing chronic conditions, including heart conditions. It can also reduce the possibility of contracting high blood pressure, cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes. Also, remember that if you have not been physically active for a long time, it is best to begin slowly and pace up your regime.
If going to the gym is something you do not like, you can always do moderate aerobic exercises at home or follow outdoor routines like walking, jogging, and swimming.
A nutritious diet is essential for health. The food items you choose should help improve your body's health, including reducing the incidence of various NCD (non-communicable diseases), including diabetes, stroke, and heart attack. On the one hand, you should increase the number of vegetables, fruits, beans and legumes, fish, dairy products, and healthy fats like olive oil. At the same time, it is equally important to reduce the consumption of processed carbohydrates, salt, sugar, and saturated fats.
Read More: Cardiac Arrest in Young Age - Causes and How to Prevent Sudden Cardiac Death
When a person does not get enough sleep (at least 7-8 hours), they are at a high risk of various diseases, including obesity, high blood pressure, heart attack, diabetes, and depression. To ensure that a person gets sufficient sleep, it is vital to have a proper schedule where you sleep and wake up at the same time every day. It is also highly recommended that you make your bedroom dark and quiet so your body can fall asleep faster.
Further, if you feel tired even after sleeping for sufficient hours, it is suggested that you get checked for conditions like obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a condition that can increase your risk of heart disease. Some common symptoms of OSA include loud snoring, stopping breathing for short times during sleep, and waking up gasping for air. If you have any of these symptoms, please reach out to a specialist at the earliest.
If you are at a high risk of high blood pressure and cholesterol, it is essential to check yourself regularly. These regular health screenings can help you avoid future complications and prevent future complications. Suppose you have been diagnosed with a condition such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or diabetes. In that case, it is critical to take your medications on time and follow the recommended lifestyle changes suggested by the expert.
Dr. Manish Hinduja, Consultant-Cardio Thoracic & Vascular Surgery
Fortis Hospital, Mulund