Sudden cardiac arrest and deaths due to heart attacks are becoming more common among young people as another such death has shocked the country. Air India pilot Captain Himanil Kumar, 37, died suddenly of a heart attack at the airline’s Gurgaon office on Thursday. This unfortunate incident is a reminder of the hidden dangers that cardiovascular problems can pose, even in individuals who are in peak health. In modern times, poor lifestyle choices, stress and inadequate physical exercise are among the reasons responsible for deteriorating heart health in young people. Experts say it’s important for high-risk individuals to get screened and maintain their heart health with lifestyle measures. (Also read: Can air pollution cause heart attack?)
Throwing light on the possible reasons behind cardiac arrest, especially in the youth, Dr. (COI). Manjinder Sandhu, Principal Director-Cardiology, Max Healthcare, says, “While the tragic incident involving Captain Himanil Kumar is still under investigation, we must acknowledge that cardiac arrest can be caused by a myriad of factors. Underlying heart conditions, Genetic predisposition, lifestyle choices, and external stressors all contribute to the complex tapestry of heart health. A thorough medical evaluation, including a detailed history and diagnostic tests, is essential to proactively understand and address these multifaceted risk factors . The medical community should emphasize continued monitoring, especially in high-stress occupations, for early detection and management of potential cardiovascular problems.”
The tragic incident at Delhi airport highlights the need to prioritize heart health, especially in professions that demand peak physical and mental performance.
“The insights gained from the discussion on comprehensive cardiac screening, including CT coronary angiography and calcium scoring, highlight the important role of early detection and intervention in managing potential risks. Also, emphasize the need to recognize the multifactorial nature of cardiovascular events Provides thorough medical assessment to proactively identify and address underlying risk factors. As the aviation industry grapples with this serious incident, it becomes clear that a nuanced and cautious approach to cardiovascular health is essential. Continuous monitoring, stress management programs and regular checkups in line with high-stress occupations can collectively contribute to reducing the risks associated with cardiovascular events. “In pursuit of aviation safety and well-being of individuals in demanding occupations, a joint effort within the medical community and the industry at large is critical,” says Dr. Sandhu.
Experts also emphasize the importance of cardiac screening in individuals with high-risk profiles, such as pilots, where there is a critical need for comprehensive cardiac evaluation.
“In careers such as aviation that require the highest levels of both brain and physical capabilities, cardiovascular wellness is paramount. Performing CT coronary angiography and calcium scoring plays a vital role in early identification of potential risks. These screenings provide a detailed snapshot protects an individual’s cardiovascular health, enabling timely intervention and proactive risk management. High-stress occupations should prioritize regular cardiovascular screening to ensure the well-being of individuals who shoulder critical responsibilities, ” Says Dr. Aakar Kapoor, CEO & Principal Medical Consultant – City X-Ray & Scan Clinic Pvt Ltd, Founder & Partner – City Imaging & Clinical Labs LLP.
CT calcium scoring is increasingly being incorporated into contemporary health screening as it offers cost-effectiveness without the need for contrast studies. Therefore, it is becoming a standard inclusion in health packages in various places.
“For individuals at high risk due to factors such as diabetes, age-related hypertension, smoking, or history of alcohol abuse, or for those with elevated calcium scores indicating increased risk, CT coronary angiography is recommended.” However, coronary angiography is usually not conducted universally as a screening tool for all individuals; instead, it is performed selectively for those classified as high risk based on specific criteria. is recommended,” says Dr. Kapoor.
Why are heart attacks and cardiac arrests increasing among youth?
“The main reasons for the increasing incidence of heart attacks in the current generation are unhealthy food habits, abdominal obesity, poor sleep and increased stress both in work and home environment. This leads to the development of cholesterol blocks in the blood vessels of the heart which can burst. Is.” Heart attacks occur during or after a gym workout due to physical stress. The incidence of non-coronary causes remains the same compared to previous generations. But the incidence of coronary and infection-related heart attacks is increasing in the current generation,” says Dr Zeenath Begum, cardiologist, Prashanth Hospital, Chennai.
Causes of heart attack in youth
“Smoking, obesity (especially abdominal obesity), increased carbohydrate and trans fat intake, lack of physical activity, poor sleep habits, undue mental stress, sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea are major risk factors. Traditional and The risk factors are diabetes mellitus, systemic hypertension, high cholesterol and genetically related premature atherosclerosis disease. The incidence of blood clot-related heart attacks in youth increased due to inflammation following viral infection during the Covid pandemic,” Dr. Zeenath says.