40s is the new 30s – popular headline nowadays! The 40s generation is motivated to look young, imitate the younger to create an illusion of sorts. One aspect is looking younger, while the other is about ‘acting’ young. The modifications to the body in terms of the physique, the ‘blacking’ of the grey, anti-wrinkle escapades among others to appear young is pure illusory effect. Also, there is a blind copy of western culture more so in the work environment to ape their work ethic, sans the framework that the western professionals enjoy as a muchneeded cushion to work in a professional environment. Are there any repercussions that can harm the naturally ageing body? Prasanna S. Harihar discuss here in this article.
In India, more than 17 lakh people die every year due to heart diseases and by 2030, the figure is expected to increase with 2.3 crore deaths. Fifty per 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 (Source: Indian Heart Association). Among reported mortality cases, there are a few who apparently healthy and a few others suffering from few pre-existing conditions such as elevated blood pressure, high sugar, etc. Pre-existing conditions does raise one's eyebrows, nevertheless, shocks one out of their wits when a death is reported at an early age.
In recent times, India has witnessed rapid urbanization, globalization, increased Young Succumb to Heart Attacks sedentary lifestyles, unhealthy diets, overweight, tobacco usage and increased life expectancy. As per a 2020 study, tobacco smoking in males (23.6 per cent) is higher than the global prevalence (22 Per cent). Obesity is increasingly in adult urban population, and abdominal obesity a major cause for concern. One in every four individuals older than 18 years has an increased blood pressure level. India has catapulted to be the diabetes capital of the world.
A healthy balanced diet and regular physical activity is a behavioural change to be initiated to reduce this burden. What gives the medical community the jitters is when individuals, reportedly super-fit, with a good exercise and diet regimen develop strange but overlooked symptoms and die a sudden death. The 40s generation in India is affected for two reasons work ethic and personal image. Both are expectations related to pressure from the surrounding as well as from the self. We don’t find these in older generations for obvious reasons.
In the former, the Indian workplace is today a 24 x 7 operating unit catering to the far east as well as the west, which comes with challenges and opportunities. In the latter, the consumerist culture of the West and India depict the ageing population as still looking fabulous and healthy which our Indian society accepted and adopted in its full steam – to flaunt a toned body we started to expend effort to look much younger than our age.
Work life in India due to growing globalization has created both a positive and a negative influence on the 40s to 50s generation. Dr. Anil Kumar, Head, Dept. of Medicine of a leading teaching hospital reviews case histories of many patients who come with some symptoms. “In young heart attacks, it is genes, genes and genes all the way. Steroids, drugs, obesity surgery don’t play a major role in heart attack causation. There are reversible and irreversible factors. Irreversible are family history, male gender, Asian origin, etc. Reversible are lifestyle factors such as hypertension, smoking, sedentary lifestyle, excessive alcohol consumption, etc.”
Dr. Charitha at a premier medical educational institution remarked: “Heart attack sometimes is a result of a single cause but most of the time it’s the end result of multiple disease processes. While we have accepted that heart attacks are more common in the 65+ age groups, today, we are hearing more instances of individuals in 30s and 40s who are victims. As far as I know, researchers haven’t been able to pin-point exactly what the cause is, there are various ‘non-communicable causes’ being listed as the reason for increase in heart attacks.
We need to get into the practise of proactive health check-ups at a younger age. We need to commit ourselves to staying compliant with prescription medication if there are a few anomalies reported in our health. We need to stay healthy with good food and exercise regimen, rather than excessive unhealthy bad food habits. We also need to gracefully accept the changes in our body as we age.
Genes that we have inherited largely decide our health. But the many factors that have been discussed here which are lifestyle and mindset aspects tend to take its toll over a period of time.
The rationale is any of those influencing factors can trigger certain events due to underlying genetic predispositions.
In the end, the matter of the heart is worth its weight in gold and let every hour be the golden hour to alleviate the heart problems – the Art of the Heart is the most precious and cherished indeed!