With World Heart Day being observed on September 29, doctors say that they are seeing a rise in certain trends such as a sharp increase in young patients getting afflicted with heart ailments, instances of patients getting blockages despite undergoing stenting or bypass surgeries and new advancements in monitoring heart patients remotely.
In the past few years, there have been several instances of seemingly healthy and young or middle aged people succumbing to cardiac arrests or heart attacks, especially while exercising in the gym.
Cardiologist Dr Hanumanth Reddy said the reasons for it could be one of two – either because they have a pre-existing problem that was not detected earlier and flares up during heavy exercise or because the exercise itself is too intense without appropriate conditioning.
“Any exercise should be done under supervision. Suddenly exercising for 3-4 hours or lifting very heavy weights or running a marathon without training is not at all recommended. Severe stress on the heart can cause sudden blockage in arteries and lead to massive attacks,” Dr Reddy cautioned. He said while earlier most cardiac patients were elderly or diabetic, he was seeing many younger patients now. Recently, a 23-year-old suffered a major heart attack, he pointed out.
In another trend, about 3-4 patients who undergo stenting or angioplasty are suffering from blockages even after the procedure, says cardiologist Dr A. Sharath Reddy. This can be caused by under-expansion of the stent due to bone deposition.
On the positive side, relatively new advancements in monitoring cardiac patients have made it easier for doctors to detect irregularities. Dr. Reddy said holter monitors are used to detect heart rates. A patch would be attached to patients, which will monitor the high and low rates.
According to cardiologist Dr Varsha Kiron, even smart watches have an electrical heart sensor which enables them to take a single lead ECG, making remote diagnosis of dangerous heart rhythm abnormalities easy.