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1 in 5 heart attack patients are younger than 40- Why? How to prevent/detect it with ECG machine?

India came to a standstill after the unfortunate news of Bollywood singer KK’s demise after his concert in Kolkata’s Nazrul Mancha. This news is the latest incident of loss of life due to a heart attack at a young age and adds to the list of other prominent celebrities like Siddharth Shukla, Raj Kaushal, and many more who have lost their lives to this sudden ailment. The question arises, what might the reason be for this prevalence of the disease?

A heart attack, or myocardial infarction, occurs when blood supply to heart muscles is lost, especially during the blockage. When this happens, there is an improper supply of oxygen and blood to the heart. If treatment is not administered, the damage becomes irreversible.

According to researchers, it has been seen that, compared to men, young women have a history of heart conditions that go undetected and thus increasing the chances of a heart attack. In the current scenario, it has been noted that 1 in 5 heart attack patients are younger than 40 years old, and the prevalence was low in the late 1980s but has exponentially grown in today’s time due to the shift towards a sedentary lifestyle. From 2000-2016, heart attack cases have increased by 2% every year in the young age group. The danger does not end with having a heart attack at a younger age, but the patients have the same risk and chance as those older patients of dying from a second major heart event or stroke.

A higher risk of coronary artery disease is faced by Indians due to two reasons when compared to the West. First is the genetic predisposition for heart diseases, where studies have found Indians to have heart disease a minimum of 10 years before the population in the West. Secondly, the Indian Population has smaller coronary arteries than the people in the West. The young person suffers a heart attack when added to obesity, accelerated atherosclerosis, and premature diabetes.

Another reason Indians suffer from early age heart attack is the sedentary lifestyle, high cholesterol, hypertension, and diabetes, causing the heart to stop functioning suddenly. Another reason for cardiac arrests in youngsters is rhythm problems or muscle disorder called Hypertrophic obstructive Cardiomyopathy, which often goes undiagnosed and causes thickening heart muscles.

The path to prevention is initiated by changing lifestyle, reducing stress, and taking medications to protect their health. The signs and symptoms should not be neglected, especially symptoms like breathlessness, chest pain, and excessive sweating, and the patient should seek consultation in the shortest period. It would also be recommended to take a check-up for those in their late 20s and 30s, especially when they have a family history of cardiovascular diseases.

For detecting a suspecting Heart Attack, Electrocardiogram (ECG) is an important test. The wires from electrodes, i.e., the leads, are connected to the ECG machine, which records the electrical impulses. This test is essential because it confirms the diagnosis and determines the type of heart attack, influencing the treatment the patient must administer. Various kinds of ECG machines are available in the market for ECG monitoring. The single-channel ECG machine prints a single ECG waveform or channel at a time, and the paper for this device have the space for only a single trace at a time. Thus the device will print all 12 channels on paper. The apple watch series 7 generates an ECG report similar to a single-lead ECG, where the lead is built into the digital crown and back crystal for reading the signals. The interpretations can show atrial fibrillation or sinus rhythm. In 6 channels and 12 channels, six waveforms and 12 waveforms are printed simultaneously. 12-channel ECG devices can provide in-depth reports to assist in making the right clinical decision. Game-changing innovations are entering the field of ECG with wireless devices that can easily fit in the doctor’s pocket and provide medical grade 12 lead ECG reports with 98% accuracy. A 12-Lead Portable Bluetooth ECG is a significant apparatus in clinical settings since it can provide an abundance of data, for instance, analysis of advancing MI; recognition of possibly dangerous arrhythmias; long haul impact of sustained hypertension; or intense impacts of a pulmonary embolus. As opposed to cardiovascular monitoring, the 12 lead ECG displays the 3-dimensional electrical movement of the heart recorded from 12 distinct leads and provides the entire picture.


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