In an increasingly alarming trend, persons as young as below thirty years of age are falling prey to heart attacks, according to a cardiology experts.
Before three years, this scenario was considered as extremely rare by doctors. But recently it has been noted that in working population between 35 to 45 years of age they saw a substantial increase in number of people suffering from heart attacks.
"Every month, I treat atleast two patients who are below thirty years for heart ailments, that may have been exacerbated due to faulty lifestyle choices like addiction to drugs - cocaine, smoking, altered sleeping trends or faulty eating habits," he said.
Couple of decades ago, heart disease affected mostly men in their 50s and 60s. Now, it's affecting more women and men in their mid-20s. In India of all the first heart attacks which occurred before age of 55 upto 25 % of those occur in those who are younger than forty, said doctors. This shift has been prominent and alarming.
"A worrying increase in incidence of young patients presenting with heart attack has been observed. On an average 10-20% of acute heart attacks involve patients younger than 45 years of age universally, a proportion which is rising rapidly in developing countries," said Dr Sudhir Pillai, Cardiologist, PD Hinduja Hospital at Mahim.
"Young at age does not guarantee a healthy artery. Most blockages (fatty streaks) start developing in the arteries in the second decade of life. Whether they progress to blockages late in life depends on the life style, environmental and genetic factors. The lifestyle modifications should start in the teens rather than wait for the later years," said Dr Mehta.
"Also, people who are thin should not assume that they are protected from heart attacks. The evidence is that outside visible fat is not responsible but it is the internal hidden fat stored in liver and other organs which is inflammatory," he added.