Heart Attack among Indian Youths: Reasons, number of cases & precautions for 'preventable heart disease'

Studies indicate an alarming increase in heart attacks in the younger population. About 12% of all heart attack patients in India are under the age of 40

Youth Trending Heart Attack

Heart attacks once thought to be a concern of the elderly, are tragically becoming more common among young people in India. This alarming trend poses a serious public health challenge. Scientific research highlights contributing factors, although genetics play a complex role. 


A problematic statistic


Studies indicate an alarming increase in heart attacks in the younger population. About 12% of all heart attack patients in India are under the age of 40. According to the World Health Organization, India accounts for one-fifth of the world's cardiovascular disease (CVD) deaths among younger adults. The age-standardized CVD death rate in India is 272 per 100,000 people, which is higher than the global average of 235.

Lifestyle shifts and contributing factors supported by studies

  • Dietary Choices: A study published in the journal "Vascular Disease in Young Indians" highlights the effects of an unhealthy diet prevalent among young Indians that contributes to early heart disease.
  • Physical inactivity: Research also shows the dangers of physical inactivity, directly linking it to an increased risk of heart attacks in all age groups, including young adults.
  • Challenging work cultures: A study published in "The Indian Heart Journal" reveals a correlation between work stress and increased cardiovascular risks among young professionals in India.
  • Sleepless nights: Lack of sleep and lack of quality sleep can disrupt body processes, contribute to inflammation, and increase the likelihood of heart disease.
  •  Smoking and tobacco use: "The Global Burden of Disease Study" points to smoking as a key risk factor for cardiovascular disease, with harmful effects amplified in younger populations.

Genetics: Increased risk, not inevitable

While South Asians have a higher prevalence of a specific genetic variant associated with heart disease, it is important to understand:

  • This variant, a mutation in the LMNB1 gene, increases the risk but does not guarantee a heart attack.
  • Environmental factors such as diet, exercise, and stress significantly influence how this genetic predisposition manifests itself.
  • Scientists are targeting this gene to develop potential future treatments. Nevertheless, it does not replace the focus on a healthy lifestyle.


Take Action: What the Science Suggests

  • Adopt a heart-healthy diet: Numerous studies, including the INTERHEART study, emphasize that a balanced diet containing unprocessed foods significantly reduces cardiovascular risks.
  • Prioritize physical activity: Research confirms that regular exercise improves heart function and reduces the risk of heart disease in all age groups.
  • Manage stress: Studies show the benefits of stress reduction techniques such as yoga and meditation in protecting cardiovascular health.
  • Regular checkups: Proactive monitoring of blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels is essential for early detection and intervention, as recommended by major health organizations.

Heart disease is preventable, even in the face of potential genetic susceptibility. Scientific evidence supports the importance of adopting a healthy lifestyle to protect the hearts of India's youth. Raising awareness and promoting science-informed prevention measures will be critical to reversing this trend.