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Unhealthy Habits To Avoid In Your 20s And 30s To Reduce The Risk Of Heart Problems

While older adults are at a greater risk of heart problems, younger people are not entirely safe from the risk of developing heart-related issues.

Tenzin Chodon
Written by: Tenzin ChodonUpdated at: Apr 12, 2023 09:23 IST
Unhealthy Habits To Avoid In Your 20s And 30s To Reduce The Risk Of Heart Problems

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Your age is one of the biggest risk factors for heart-related issues. People aged 65 and above are at a greater risk of cardiovascular diseases, primarily because ageing can impact the heart and blood vessels, explains the National Institute of Aging. However, the recent rise in the number of heart problems among young people has become a cause of concern for many. We at Only My Health spoke with Dr Shuvanan Roy, Director – Interventional Cardiology / Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI), Fortis Anandapur, Kolkata, to discuss the reasons behind the prevalence of heart problems in youngsters. 

Also Read: Peripheral Arterial Disease: Symptoms, Self-Care Measures, Treatments And Expert Opinion

How daily habits impact cardiovascular health

According to Dr Roy, as we age, our risk of developing heart problems increases. However, there are several unhealthy habits that we can avoid in our 20s and 30s to reduce our risk of heart disease later in life. From high cholesterol levels to increased blood pressure, unhealthy habits can give rise to several heart problems. Here are some of the habits suggested by the cardiologist. 


Chronic stress can lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and other risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. 

The American Heart Association (AHA) describes chronic stress as "constant." According to the US Health Body, it can set off a chain of events, beginning with your body releasing adrenaline - "a hormone that temporarily causes your breathing and heart rate to speed up and your blood pressure to rise." The same set of hormones can have "damaging effects" on the heart if exposed to elevated catecholamine levels for a long time, says a study published in the journal Jama Network. 

"Stress can cause increased oxygen demand on the body, spasm of the coronary (heart) blood vessels, and electrical instability in the heart's conduction system," the study authors wrote. 

Therefore, Dr Roy recommends managing stress with the help of meditation, yoga, or exercise.

Not maintaining a healthy weight/obesity

Obesity rates are on the rise among youngsters. According to the doctor, it is one of the risk factors for heart attack and could lead to untimely death. Having said that, the doctor advises choosing a healthy diet. Nutrient-rich foods like vegetables, grains, etc., must be included in the diet, he says. 


According to the doctor, smoking is one of the most significant risk factors for heart disease. "It damages the blood vessels and causes plaque to build up, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes," he explains. To all smokers, the doctor recommends quitting as it is the best thing one can do for their heart health.

Avoiding health checkups

Getting your cholesterol and blood pressure checked regularly is very important, says Dr Roy. If you experience symptoms of heart problems, such as chest pain, shortness of breath, or palpitations, seek medical attention immediately. Ignoring these symptoms can lead to more severe heart problems later on. 

Also Read: Can Diabetes Lead To A Four-Fold Increase In Coronary Artery Disease?


Erratic and unhealthy diets may affect elevated cholesterol situations, which can increase the chances of heart illness and stroke. Furthermore, obesity, lack of exercise and too much sugar in the diet can be the cause of heat-related illness in the 20s and 30s. By avoiding these unhealthy habits and adopting a healthy lifestyle routine, one can reduce the risk of heart problems later in life, shares Dr Roy. Remember, prevention is key, and it's never too early to start taking care of your heart health.