Under Arrest: Why Young Indians Should Focus on Heart Health

Getting a head-start on your heart health.

Healthy Heart|Dec.09, 2022


When was the last time you thought about your heart?

If you’re in your 20s or 30s, chances are that you’ve only ever given it a thought when you’re working out or figuring out how to beat your personal best in the next run! But your heart is beating every second of your life, weathering your highs and lows, helping you do everything you possibly can. And it needs care and attention, regardless of your age.

According to the World Health Organization, cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are globally the leading cause of mortality, claiming approximately 17.9 million lives each year. Studies show that the heart disease rate among Indians is twice that of western countries— we account for 60% of the world’s heart disease cases, with Indian people experiencing CVDs at an earlier age as compared to the rest of the world. While genetic risk factors could be one way to explain this glaring discrepancy, life events and lifestyle related factors, too, could be part of the cause.  High cortisol levels from long-term stress can result in high blood cholesterol and sugar, triglycerides, and hypertension, which are common risk factors for heart disease. Sleep deprivation, too, which is becoming increasingly common, is linked to cardiometabolic disorders

With the pace and nature of our lives today, stressors and CVDs can only be expected to escalate, unless we make an active effort to change the course of our cardiac health.

To a large extent, risk factors like diabetes, hypertension, and obesity, can be kept in check by making lifestyle alterations like adopting a healthy diet and exercise routine, changing one’s sedentary lifestyle, cutting down on sugar and fat consumption and monitoring lipids. But a proactive approach, in terms of screening and monitoring, is what will help us minimize the possibility of unforeseen events. Those at a high risk of CVDs must be identified to ensure they receive appropriate treatment at the right time. People with a family history of cardiac ailments must preemptively test for risk factors at a young age. Healthcare solutions, like high-sensitive troponin-I tests, have been proven useful in assessing risk of future cardiovascular diseases. By enabling profiling/early detection of heart disease, with greater ease, these tests can empower people and healthcare practitioners to keep track of their heart health.

But the role of health technology doesn’t end at detection. Those who are diagnosed with heart conditions are benefiting from remote monitoring innovations that are changing the way doctors, caregivers and patients themselves manage their health. Implantable devices that flag off early warning signs of cardiac ailments, including severe conditions like heart failure, can help doctors provide timely, personalized care and significantly lower the chances of adverse events. A disorder like arrhythmia, which compels the heart to beat irregularly, can be difficult to detect, since the heartbeat follows no consistent pattern. Understandably, the onus to watch out for symptoms and report them to a doctor without delay, can be quite stressful for a patient. This is where minimally invasive Insertable Cardiac Monitors come into play—they periodically track your data and share it with your healthcare providers.

When it comes to matters of the heart, age is just a number. Cardiac issues may appear at any age and stage of life, but how you monitor your health and navigate your condition can make a life-changing difference. Technology is powering new ways for people to connect with themselves, make crucial health decisions, manage their disease, and live a fuller life.

Disclaimer: The information mentioned in this document is only suggestive /for patient education and shall not be considered as a substitute for doctor’s advice or recommendations from Abbott. Please consult your doctor for more information.