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Heart Failure in Young Population

By Dr. Samir Kubba in Cardiac Sciences

Mar 23 , 2022 | 2 min read

A decade ago, the sight of a father bringing his son to the hospital because he had a Heart attack was rarest of the case. Unfortunately, the situation is not the same today. The growing trend of Heart failure in the younger generation of our country is alarming! The patients are at least 10-20 years younger as compared to their western counterparts.


In March 2020, 45-year-old Amar* was wheeled into the emergency as he was suffering from breathlessness for the last 2 days which gradually increased while lying down, especially during the night. Already a
Chronic Kidney Disease patient and on dialysis for the past 3 years, the breathlessness felt by Amar was due to Heart failure, secondary to a silent Heart attack which had damaged his Heart muscle by 50%. which can also be a main reason for cardiac arrest. He was stabilised with medicines following which a coronary angiography revealed a 100% blockage of his main artery. He underwent successful angioplasty surgery and stenting and is now doing well.


Like Amar, we come across many people in their 40s or even younger who suffer from a
heart ailment. Heart failure can happen to anyone, at any time. 


Reasons for Heart failure can be many but the most common one is a blockage in the heart 
arteries and the two main contributors to this alarming situation are:

  1. Sedentary lifestyle
  2. Decreased physical activities


There is a shift in the day-to-day activities with the least physical movements, increased screen time, and unhealthy eating habits. Even the jobs today include minimal physical work.


A lot of people are unaware, but Diabetes is also a major risk factor when it comes to Heart 
failure. People suffering from diabetes have higher chances of experiencing a silent Heart attack and damage to the heart muscles. Therefore, Diabetes is not only about blood sugar control, but also about assessing overall Heart health.


Sleep apnoea is another under-recognized cause of Heart failure. The inability to breathe properly while sleeping at night results in low blood oxygen levels and an increased risk of Heart attack and Heart failure. Sleep apnoea is commonly associated with obesity.


Other health conditions which might contribute to Heart failure include:

  1. High Blood Pressure
  2. High Cholesterol
  3. Kidney Disease
  4. Obesity

In the last few years, there has been a great advancement in the management of Heart attacks, valvular Heart disease, and congenital Heart disease. There has also been a tremendous development in the management of Hypertension (high blood pressure), Diabetes, and cholesterol disorders, are major risk factors in causing Heart disease.


Patients who suffer Heart failure should not lose hope. There has been phenomenal development in the management of the disease with newer and effective drugs, devices, and interventional procedures. With proper education, lifestyle modification, compliance, discipline, regular checkups, and support from family and healthcare systems, patients with Heart failure can lead to a normal life.


The need of the hour is to nip the problem in the bud. This can be achieved by educating the
community at large, about the risk factors and signs and heart failure symptoms. Awareness about the situations, in which a specialist needs to be consulted, must be strongly addressed.

*Actual identity has been changed to maintain confidentiality