In 2021, Indian cardiologists had voiced alarm on the growing number of young Indians between ages 20 and 30 years old already afflicted with heart problems. During the last decades, medical cases of Indians experiencing premature heart attacks caused by coronary artery disease (CAD) confirmed observations that Indians have higher CAD mortality and morbidity risks than their foreign counterparts.
The Indian Heart Association (IHA) attests to the veracity of reports about early heart disease striking young Indians without prior symptoms as warnings. Nowadays, hospital records show that 50 percent of Indian men who suffer from heart attacks are below 50 years old. In the cases of Indian women who suffer from heart ailments, they have a higher mortality rate than men.
Today, young people with heart trouble have become quite common. Even more alarming is that young people deemed as being low risks had suddenly suffered heart attacks; many of which have been fatal.
Are India’s Generic Medicines Effective In Alleviating Risk Factors?
Not a few think the low cost generic medications, which the Indian government mandates private physicians to prescribe, aren’t effective. Yet India FDA asserts that generic medicines are just as effective as the branded drugs that have expired patents, because they use the same formulations.
In India, the government ensures the affordability of generic medications through a national drug distribution system known as PCD Pharma Franchise. Unfortunately affordable medicines are not enough to prevent the susceptibility of Indians to premature heart attacks or early development of a heart disease.
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Real Reasons Why Indians are More Prone to Heart Problems
Previous studies have been conducted to determine why Indians are prone to heart diseases at an earlier age than their Asian neighbors and Western counterparts. One of the main reasons why people of Hindustan descent have greater risks of being afflicted with coronary artery disease is that Indians by nature, have smaller coronary arteries or blood vessels compared to Western people.
Another reason is the growing prevalence of childhood obesity, in which active cases lead to obesity-related premature diabetes.
A diabetic condition results to increased deposits of fat, cholesterol and other toxic substances in blood vessels. The deposits form plaques or build ups that cause young arteries to narrow. Such a condition blocks blood flow and advances atherosclerosis that lead to early cases of heart attacks.
At the Rana Hospital, Senior Interventional Cardiologist and Director, Dr Senthilkumar Nallusamy added that consumption of trans fats and alcohol, as well as smoking and mental stress, are additional factors that increase the risks of coronary artery disease in young patients.
Yet there are also cases of young Indians whose hearts suddenly stopped; resulting in cardiac arrests even without any risk factors affecting their health conditions, Such cardiac arrests may be the result of undiagnosed heart rhythm failure or thickening of the heart’s muscular artery known as Hypertrophic Obstructive Cardiomyopathy.
Mental stress is also a common risk factor observed among young heart disease patients. According to Kauvery Hospitals Tiruchy’s Chief Interventional Consultant and Cardiologist, Dr S Aravindakumar, about 15 to 20 per cent of below age 40 patients who suffer from a heart disorder also suffer from mental stress. Many of them are young corporate employees, working as ITs dealing with US clients.
Dr Balasubramanian, fhe head of the Cardiology Department of the Mahatma Gandhi Government Hospital, said that while most Indians work from home, they work longer hours during nights. Since they lack sleep, they don’t observe a healthy diet and have very little time spent exercising.