Unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, being overweight and smoking are the top causes of heart attacks in adults. Are these the same factors that are responsible for increasing heart attacks in youngsters too? Studies have found that heart attacks have been alarmingly increasing in youngsters. What could be responsible for this increasing number of heart patients among youngsters? Let's take a look.
Overlooking warning signs
Heart attacks can happen in younger people however, they are more common in older individuals. But it was found that young adults are more likely to ignore warning signs than adults. Chest discomfort, throat discomfort, backache, indigestion, chills and panic attacks are not taken for a serious health problem by youngsters. But these symptoms are the key to identify and prevent heart attacks as many who suffer a heart attack never realised they could be at risk.
Children consume more fat, calories and salt nowadays. They are the worst food choices among youngsters. These foods not only contribute extra calories, but also contain sodium and saturated fat which can take a toll on their heart health.
Unhealthy behaviours such as cigarette smoking and drinking alcohol increase the risk of a heart attack significantly. Illicit drugs have the tendency to increase heart rate and thus, induce heart attack.
Heart attack risk factors
Most risk factors for heart attacks stay the same for younger men as they do for older adults. These are family history of cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol, hypertension (high blood pressure), smoking, abdominal obesity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Lack of exercise and low educational standards also contribute to heart attacks. For uncontrolled risk factors such as family history, consult your physician for medical advice.
Also read: Cut Down on Salt to Protect your Heart
What can be done?
Health experts stress the importance of more aggressive prevention strategies in young adults to stop heart attacks, particularly those who are at high risk. Addressing risk factors early in life is key to preventing life-threatening heart attacks.
You should abide by the six rules for a healthy heart, which are as follows.
- Not smoking
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Engaging in physical activity daily
- Watching no more than two hours of TV every day
- A maximum of two drinks per day
- Sticking to a healthy diet
The above mentioned factors can greatly reduce the risk of heart attack. These steps become even more important for those who are obese.
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