A recent study in USA has found that there has been a significant rise in the first stroke rates at younger ages. The startling figures indicate a growth in strokes rates for age groups of people under 55. The matter of concern lies in the fact that people who suffer from strokes at such earlier age and survive tend to have adverse effects on their health leading to disabilities of different types for a longer period post the stroke compared to the ones suffering from strokes at an old age of 65 plus.
Study also revealed that average age for stroke had decreased by two years and the common type of stroke occuring in these age groups is generally the ischemic stroke. The risk factors included type 2 diabetes with high blood pressure and atrial fibrillation.
This above stays true for USA but coming to India, the figures are rather alarming. India tops the list of heart attacks in young age. The figures state that 78% of males between the age group of 30 and 35 are under the risk of heart attack. Further, because the arteries of Indians are narrow as compared to the caucasians, the risk is much more because of the genetical vulnerability.
The reason is early aging of the heart. Your calendar age may be in your 30’s but biologically your heart may be older by 8 -10 years, majorly due to unhealthy lifestyle and to some extent genes. The world is also coming to terms with the concept of heart age which is calculated on the basis of age, gender, total and HDL, blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, BMI and more. As per doctors, youth does not mean protection to the heart against stroke. With a rather unhealthy lifestyle that includes fats, excessive caffeine, alcohol and salts, it is only going to come sooner than later.
Generally speaking, Indians consume very less fruits, not even a single fruit every day rather. Moreover, the food is loaded with refined carbohyrdates and saturated fats and prolonged cooking destroys most of the nutrients from the food. Hence, it is but natural for heart diseases to occur at early ages.
The only benefit today as compared to earlier times is that with the advancement in technology heart attacks can be predicted accurately as much as 90%. Tests like CT coronary Angiogram, measure cartid IMT, high sensitivity CRP in blood, stress testing, lipid profile, blood sugar, BMI and more can help indicate the risk factors. Therefore, a 64-slice CT scan every few years post the age of 30 is advisable to Indians to check for blockages in the artery.
Well, for Indians, its time to change the lifestyle and adopt a healthy one loaded with fruits and exercises included to ensure that the biological age is much younger than the calendar and not vice versa.