World Heart Day - Be Stress-Free
As per various study and survey conducted in the last few years, the most common risk factor for Coronary Heart Diseases is Hypertension. The prevalence of risk factors in 100 Men suffering from Cardiac Diseases is 25.9%; whereas 24.8% women in 100 also find Hypertension as the risk factor. The second most common risk factor in smoking at 22.8% among Men but for women Hypertension is the foremost cause of Cardiac Diseases. These figures are based on the data published by registrar general of India. Increased stress leads to Hypertension; each stressful situation faced by an individual makes them physiologically older than their chronological age. This leads to Coronary Heart Diseases at a younger age.
The current sedentary lifestyle combined with stress has led to an increase in the number of youngsters with coronary heart diseases. There are two types of stress, Acute and Chronic stress. Chronic stress leads to hormonal changes, Hypertension, diabetes and heart diseases. If those in their 30s are under stress for a longer period, are leading a sedentary lifestyle, then can lead to coronary artery diseases at a later stage. Multiple factors collectively cause heart problems. Normal stress experienced during driving, commuting or handling daily activities are manageable. However, acute stress experienced among elderly can cause heart attack while youngsters are capable to handle such situations. If those with pre-existing heart ailment face any stressful situations, mentally or physically, can precipitate heart problems, said Dr Bipeenchandra Bhamre, Cardio-Thoracic Surgeon.
Heart diseases are usually considered as Mens illness; however, women lead an equally stressful life and tend to ignore their health. Heart attacks are now the number one cause of death among women as well. Men between 40 to 60 years of age are 1.5 times more prone to heart attacks than a woman of the same age. A spike in heart attacks among post-menopausal women is noticed as the estrogen levels decrease in the body in this age. Estrogen works as a protection from coronary heart disease, added Dr Bhamre.
Dr Pradeep Gadge, Diabetologist, says,"A rise in the number of youngsters with heart attacks are seen, however, there are not many risk factors like Hypertension or Diabetes but they still face heart attacks. The main cause for this is mental stress and inadequate sleep, this is a common phenomenon among youngsters in their early twenties. I recently had a 23 years old patient who did not have any medical history or hereditary health issues but underwent a Bypass surgery. This was due to his erratic lifestyle and mental stress, it was after the surgery that he got Diabetes. There are a few other similar cases that highlight the rise in youngsters facing heart problems due to increased stress.
Dr. Rahul Gupta, Apollo Hospitals, says "Stress increases the adrenergic drive and causes sympathetic overactivity. This causes endothelial dysfunction constricts the arteries raises the blood pressure and heart rate and multiple other deleterious effects which increases the chances of block formation inside coronary arteries. It also increase the chances of plaque rupture which is the reason for heart attacks in apparently normal looking individuals.
There are many studies which have shown that stress is an important risk factor for many lifestyle diseases and controlling stress with measures like yoga meditation exercise and proper sleep significantly reduces the chances of heart disease.Youth in our country are living in a highly competitive world and are under constant pressure of performance. They neglect their health badly by overworking, lack of sleep no exercise and improper eating habits. We are seeing lot of young patients with high BP, diabetes and heart disease these days and stress seems to be the number one risk factors. I suggest the youth of our country to take measures which will reduce stress."