Heart attacks are getting younger: why heart disease is becoming more common in the very young and how to avoid it
A common cause of heart problems is the inability to recognize bodily signals in time or to deliberately ignore them.
According to statistics, about half of all deaths in Russia are due to heart disease, a fairly significant proportion of which is among Russians under 35 years of age. Over the past 10 years in the practice of a cardiologist, it is no longer surprising to meet a patient with a heart attack at the age of 28-30, 30-35 years. Although back in 2010, these types of cases were rare and caused great confusion in the medical environment.
Olga Savonina, cardiologist, arrhythmologist, author of the book “Heart, knock!” and cardiology courses for physicians and medical students.
These are inflammatory heart diseases that occur as a result of an infection. In the last two years, the number of people with myocarditis has increased rapidly due to the coronavirus infection suffered by many. As a result, the number of unrecognized or improperly treated myocarditis has also increased, leading to an increased incidence of myocardial infarction.
The main danger of myocarditis is that it can be asymptomatic or have minimal manifestations; as a result, cardiologists do not deal with the initial stage of the disease, but with the complications. The insidiousness of myocarditis is also manifested in the absence of an age limit: both children and young people, and adults and the elderly, are equally susceptible to it.
At the same time, the consequences of myocarditis are often irreversible changes that can lead to disruption of the myocardium (heart muscle). And the inflammatory process in the myocardium contributes to the formation of a scar in muscle tissue, which often leads to the development of cardiovascular diseases – coronary heart disease, heart failure and others. In most cases, normal heart function is restored with proper treatment of myocarditis, but this requires a lot of time and effort from both the cardiologist and the patient.
It’s not even about specific professions, but about the schedule and methods of work. For example, you see a large number of people with heart disease among those who work on a rotational basis.
Processing also negatively affects the cardiovascular system. One study found that people who worked more than 45 hours a week for 10 years had a 35% increased risk of developing heart disease. Quite often, overworkers develop coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, and heart failure.
It also negatively affects the health of the heart and constant work on the night shift. In 2021, a 10-year study of Chinese cardiologists involving 283,000 people was published. It showed that those who work night shifts are at a much higher risk of developing atrial fibrillation, as well as coronary heart disease.
a lot of stress
Periodically stressful situations arise for each of us, and this can hardly be completely avoided. However, there is another type of stress that is not obvious to many and therefore more dangerous: chronic stress.
It is dangerous because a person often adapts and gets used to constantly experiencing negative emotions, – Olga Savonina explains. This can be compared to regularly adding water to a plastic bag: it will last for a while, but in the end it will not withstand the load and will burst: the water will spill out and flood everything around, and the bag will deteriorate. The same is the case with chronic stress: if a person accumulates negativity and tension in himself for a long time, then this can lead to a myocardial infarction and other diseases of the cardiovascular system.
Therefore, it is very important to get rid of negative emotions in a timely manner. Everyone chooses the way to do this for himself: someone likes to dance or play sports, someone goes to shout in the field, someone works with a psychologist. And someone eliminates the sources of discomfort by decisive methods: for example, he quits his job, where he was pressured by a conflicting boss. You can find your own method, the main thing is not to accumulate stress.
There is evidence that smokers account for 36% of the risk of a heart attack. Also, according to studies, smokers have significantly lowered the “entry age” of heart disease risk. Therefore, the sooner a person quits smoking, the more chances he has to avoid “heart” problems.
Ignorance and self delusion
Another common cause of heart problems is the inability to recognize the signals sent to us by the cardiovascular system in time, or to deliberately ignore them.
As a rule, most often they do not listen to their body and ignore the resulting discomfort from a man. Many also self-medicate: they take drugs such as Validol or popular sedatives. That is why it is fashionable to eliminate the external signs, but not the causes of pain, arrhythmia and other symptoms. This only aggravates the situation: a person is worse at recognizing alarming “bells” indicating problems with the heart, and he does not turn to a specialist for a long time.
Meanwhile, Olga Savonina emphasizes that at the slightest discomfort not only in the heart, but in the body as a whole, it is worth contacting at least one therapist to prescribe further studies.
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