Cardiac disease, especially Coronary Artery Diseases (CAD) is leading killer among adults. Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) occurring below the age of 45 years is termed as YOUNG CAD. This area of Cardiology is gaining importance due to increase in prevalence of CAD over a last few decades.Many studies have demonstrated that young CAD contributes 2-6% of Acute Coronary syndromes presenting to Hospitals. CAD in young adults can have devastating consequences for young patients & their family. Studies show that prevalence is of 1.2 % in the younger age group. Ethnically South Asians especially Indians are more vulnerable to CAD in younger age, with prevalence being 5%-10%.
Conventional risk factors such as smoking, diabetes, High BP, High Cholesterol, Obesity & family history are associated with CAD. By & large these are also common in young CADs. At times factors exclusive to younger patients are:
1) Genetic aberrations leading to abnormal production & metabolism of Cholesterol.
2) Coronary artery abnormalities at birth; Dissection (in pregnancy) or inflammation (Kawasaki disease).
3) Cocaine abuse.
Rising CAD in young:
There is paradigm shift in incidence in above mentioned Conventional risk factors. These conditions, once thought to be appearing in elderly, is being detected in younger people. Affluence, Urbanisation& changing life styles of youth are attributed to this rise. Rising trend of CAD in young is due to rise in these Conventional risk factors in younger generations.
Change in life style is major reason for the rise in these risk factors.Lack of physical activity with Sedentary Jobs, Change in food habits leading to Obesity & Diabetes, smoking & stress levels are bad life styles causing increase in risk factors & there by causing CAD in Young.
Tips to prevent CAD in young:
Avoid 6 s’s.
1. SMOKING: Even 1 cigarette per day can cause chemical toxins to build in blood leading a milieu for not only CAD, but for stroke & Lung disease too.
2. SALT Food containing high salt (as taste maker or preservative) can lead to High BP & eventually CAD.
3. SUGARS; Avoiding refined White sugars in diet can bring down blood sugars & bad cholesterol.
4. SPICY JUNK FOODS: Though these fast foods are convenient to consume on a busy day they lead to Obesity.
5. SPIRITS: Alcohol consumption on daily basis can lead to accumulation of empty calories & there by increase body fat &Cholesterol.
6. STRESS: Speed for Status can lead increase too much stress which in turn may cause chronically elevated stress hormones in blood which can have deleterious effects on heart &Coronaryarteries.
How to stay healthy:
1. Exercise regularly and maintain an ideal body weight. BMI & Sagittal Abdominal diameter /skin fold ratio are good indicators of ideal body weight.
2. Stop all vices such asSmoking, Vaping & Excess/binge drinking of Alcohol.
3. Eat heart Healthy diet consisting of fresh fruits, vegetables& lean meat. Avoid junk foods & sugary drinks. It is advisable to consult Qualified dietician, if necessary.
4. Avoid Stress by striking a right balance between Career &personal life. Avoid unhealthy RAT RACE in profession.
5. If there is strong Family history of CAD get an Annual Health Checkup estimating the presence or Absence of Conventional Risk Factors. If these are normal, additional risk factors such as Lp (a); Hyperapolipoprotein B 7 Serum Homocysteine may have to be estimated.
Coronary artery Diseases are on rise in India even among Young adults. Increase of Conventional risk factors in younger generation has lead to this surge of CAD. Unhealthy life style & smoking has lead to increase in CAD. By adopting healthy life style & with annual health examination this catastrophe can be prevented or delayed.
Dr. Rajesh Bhat U
Associate Professor & Sr. Interventional Cardiologist.
KMC Hospital Mangalore