BJP leader and actor Sonali Phogat’s death once again puts spotlight on young India’s weak hearts

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Unhealthy diet, sedentary lifestyle, smoking, high pollution levels and fast-paced social obligations have led to a rise in cardiovascular diseases among the youth of our nation

Sonali Phogat, a popular Tik Tok star had unsuccessfully contested the last Assembly election from Adampur constituency. Image Courtesy: Sonali Phogat/Instagram

Bharatiya Janata Party (leader) and former contestant of reality show Bigg Boss 14 Sonali Phogat passed away on Monday night in Goa after suffering a heart attack.

Reacting to the demise, Haryana chief minister ML Khattar wrote on Twitter, “Deeply saddened to learn about the death of Sonali Phogat.”

Phogat, a popular Tik Tok star had unsuccessfully contested the last Assembly election from Adampur constituency against Kuldeep Bishnoi. Bishnoi, who was then in Congress, recently joined the BJP.

In recent times, several noted celebrities such as actor Siddharth Shukla and singer KK have died young owing to heart diseases, showing that India continues to struggle with heart diseases and how the youth of our nation is crippled by this infliction.

What are cardiovascular diseases?

Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are a group of disorders of the heart and blood vessels, including coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, peripheral arterial disease, rheumatic heart disease, congenital heart disease, deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.

The statistics from National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) indicate that the annual number of deaths from CVDs is projected to rise from 2.26 million in 1990 to 4.77 million in 2020.

Coronary heart disease prevalence rates in India have ranged from 1.6 percent to 7.4 percent in rural populations and from one percent to 13.2 percent in urban populations.

Causes of cardiovascular diseases

Unhealthy diet, sedentary lifestyle, smoking, high pollution levels and fast-paced social obligations have led to a rise in cardiovascular diseases among the youth of our nation.

Fifty per cent of all heart attacks in Indian men occur under 50 years of age and 25 per cent of all heart attacks in Indian men occur under 40 years of age. Indian women have high mortality rates from cardiac disease as well.

According to an Economic Times report, one in five heart attack patients are younger than 40 years of age in our country, showcasing just how unhealthy the youth is.

Dr Amit Kumar Singhal, a Senior Consultant, Cardiology, Fortis Escorts Hospital, Jaipur, in a Firstpost report outlined the main reasons why the hearts of young Indians are vulnerable.

He said that stress in people’s personal and professional lives was one of the biggest reasons for heart diseases.

He also said that owing to such a lifestyle, the general population’s food habits have changed, leading to increased salt consumption. He emphasised that these reasons lead to hypertension among younger people, who are then more likely to develop coronary diseases.

He added that unhealthy food items and junk food drive up cholesterol levels, which also lead to heart issues. A study by the US-based Mayo clinic also stated that over-exercising may also be bad for the heart. The use of dietary supplements — increases calcium and vitamin D levels — which is also linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Prevention

Heart diseases are preventable and changes in lifestyle, dietary habits, and an increase in physical activities could reduce its prevalence.

Dr T Kler, Chairman, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram and Fortis Hospital, New Delhi, was quoted as saying, “Heart disease is among the top killers in the country, but the good news is that many of the heart-related complications are curable, and their treatment is available in the country. I recommend people to do regular exercise, get good sleep, destress themselves, and eat in moderation for a healthy heart and disease-free life.”

Dr Harinder K Bali, Chairman, Cardiac Sciences, Paras Hospitals, Panchkula in an Indian Express report also urged young adults to get their cardiac evaluation done every year to prevent such life-threatening situations.

Celebs struggling with heart diseases

Recently, a spate of celebrities have been in the news for their medical ailments. Well-known comedian Raju Srivastava was admitted to AIIMS Hospital in Delhi on 10 August after he suffered a heart attack while exercising in the gym.

Singer KK, known for his melodic voice, collapsed during a live performance on stage in Kolkata back in June and was rushed to the hospital where he breathed his last. He was 53.

Siddhartha Shukla, who rose to fame for his role in Balika Vadhu and his Bigg Boss appearance, passed away on 2 September last year owing to a heart attack. On 29 October, India went into mourning when Kannada superstar Puneeth Rajkumar passed away at the age of 46 owing to a heart attack.

With inputs from agencies

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