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Sonali Phogat dies at 42: What makes Indians so much prone to heart attacks?

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Sonali Phogat died recently from heart attack in Goa. She was just  42 years old, due to which a question has been raised: Are Indians more prone to heart attacks?

Sonali Phogat, a BJP politician, actress, and TikTok celebrity, was in Goa with some of her crew. After complaining of stomach pains, the former Bigg Boss competitor was taken to St Anthony Hospital in Anjuna, where she was pronounced dead.

Capt Bhupender, the BJP’s district president in Hisar, remarked, “We learned about an hour ago that she had a heart attack and died in the early morning hours. 

Certain processes are being performed in Goa, following which her body would be sent to Haryana “.

Raju Srivastava, a comedian, was recently brought to the hospital after suffering a heart attack while working out in a gym. According to specialists, these events imply that heart attacks are becoming more prevalent in younger age groups than they were previously.

Dr Subhendu Mohanty, head and senior consultant, cardiology, Sharda Hospital, Greater Noida, said, “There has been an upsurge since 2020 or so, to the point where we have had heart attacks in persons as young as 18 and 20.”

As a result, what makes Indians more susceptible to heart attacks than their western counterparts?

According to the Indian Heart Association, demographic data show that the rate of heart disease among Indians/South Asians is double that of the western world’s national averages.

Heart disease strikes Indians at a younger age (almost 33% younger) than other populations, and sometimes without warning “the study discovered

According to the Global Burden of Disease study, India has a mortality rate from cardiovascular disease (CVD) of 272 per 1 lakh people, which is much higher than the global average of 235.

Indians are more vulnerable than any other ethnic group, according to Dr. Sanjay Kumar, Director Cardiology at Fortis Escorts Hospital in Faridabad.

The incidence of CAD is 3.4 times higher in Japanese than in Americans and 20 times higher in Japanese.

Indians get coronary artery disease 5-10 years earlier than other populations. Dr. Mohanty went on to explain the possible cause: “Yes, Indians are more prone to have a heart attack than others. However, we do not know the specific reason behind this.

According to studies, Indians are more prone to suffer from a heart attack. The ostensible reason is that Indians have traditionally consumed a low-calorie diet that differs significantly from the Western diet. We have recently been exposed to the same type of diet that Western countries enjoy.”

This diet is strong in saturated fats, butter, cheese, and processed foods, according to him.

Dr. Zeeshan Mansuri, Interventional Cardiologist at Shalby Hospitals in Ahmedabad, agrees, noting that the higher incidence of heart attacks in South Asians might be attributed to their overall lifestyle choices. “The modern Indian lifestyle, which includes increased junk food consumption as well as the fact that many traditional Indian recipes have high levels of spices and oil, is not good for anyone’s health.”

They are the ones who have diseases like diabetes and hypertension, which both increase the risk of cardiovascular problems,” he took note.

According to Dr. Mohanty, an increase in the prevalence of heart attacks may be attributable to the acceptance of western diets to which our bodies are not genetically accustomed.

However, this is merely a supposition, with no scientific proof to back it up.” According to Dr. Amit Bhushan Sharma, Associate Director and Unit Head- Cardiology, Paras Hospitals, Gurgaon, heart disease attacks Indians at least a decade earlier than it does the Western population.

“One of the explanations is genetic predisposition.”

As a result, there is an increased risk of developing lipoprotein (a), the most dangerous type of cholesterol that attaches to the blood vessels and creates a tight clog.

He says that another explanation is that Indians have a quicker heart rate. “This is due to the fact that Indians are natural multitaskers.”

Dr. Sharma stated that growing stress, sedentary lifestyle, pollution, smoking, insufficient sleep, and bad eating habits are some of the key factors among Indians.

“India is also the diabetes capital of the globe.” Dr. Ashish Agarwal, Director Cardiology – Unit 1, Aakash Healthcare, concurred, stating that risk factors for coronary heart disease are rather common among Indians.

“These include, in addition to genetic vulnerability, hereditary propensity, smoking, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and poor food and physical exercise habits.”

Masala, which stands for Mediators of Atherosclerosis in South Asians Living in America, is a continuing study that has discovered that South Asians are more likely than other populations to develop high blood pressure, high triglycerides, abnormal cholesterol, and Type 2 diabetes at lower body weights.

Maintain at least 30-40 minutes of physical activity 5 days a week to prevent a heart attack, and avoid processed foods as much as possible. Dr. Mansuri added, “Cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes, and excess weight are just a few of the risk factors that may be addressed by changing what and how much you consume.”

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