Heart Disease in Young People – The Problem and its Prevention

Q.1. I am a 35 years young executive, what are my chances of developing heart disease ?

Indians are at a 3- 4 times higher risk of developing coronary artery disease (CAD) compared to the US population. 25 % of heart attacks in India occurs in people who are below 40 years of age .Smoking , family history of CAD , diabetes , high blood pressure , high bad(LDL) cholesterol , low (HDL)good cholesterol obesity are the risk factors. If you have a sedentary life style along with at least 3 of the above mentioned risks, you are susceptible to suffer from heart disease.

Heart Disease Preventions

Q2 I have Diabetes , what should be done to prevent  heart disease ?

Diabetes Mellitus (DM)is a modifiable risk factor of coronary artery disease . DM increases the risk of suffering from heart disease by 4- 5 times . The risk of heart attack and stroke can be reduced by 57% by controling of blood sugar levels . Glucose memory (HB A1c) should be targeted below 7% . 1% reduction in HB A1c results in 16% reduction of risk of suffering from a heart attack . Other risk factors should  identified and treated .

Q3 . I have high blood pressure and I am fine . Is there a need to take regular BP medicine ?

High blood pressure is a ‘silent killer’ . It increases the risk of stroke (Brain Attack), MI ( Heart Attack ) , heart failure and kidney failure . 80% of the risk can be minimized by controlling the blood pressure . Your doctor will run you through some tests to identify the target organ damage (TOD) and initiate the treatment . Some changes in the way of living  called  ‘therapeautic life style changes’ along with medications are treatment available . Blood pressure medications should be taken regularly to prevent organ damage (TOD) .

Q.4 What are the symptoms of heart attack and what should be done immediately ?

Central chest pain or discomfort at rest or minimal activity associated with sweating is the commonest presentation . Pain may be felt in the arms along with palpitation , shortness of breath , fainting spells are other symptoms .

Once these are noticed , one should take rest and chew half tablet aspirin (325mg ) and should reach the nearest well equipped hospital . On arrival at the hospital , ECG should be done and interpreted by experienced doctors

Q.5. Doctor recently US . FDA has approved the vanishing stents in heart disease . What is your experience   ?

Vanishing stents (BVS ,bio resorbable vascular scaffolds ) are available in India for the last three years . Paras Gurgaon has one of the largest published series of patients with both chronic and acute heart disease who were treated with BVS in India  . The data was presented in Singapore and Paris recently . We have shown that it works equally like a good quality drug coated stent . Dissolution of the foreign body over the years , ease of assessing the artey by CT scan , putting a graft if it required in the future , larger lumen are some of the advantages .