Cardiac arrests on the rise among youth in Kashmir

A large number of people do not arrive at hospitals on time and die from cardiac arrest on a regular basis across Kashmir’s districts.

The rising occurrence of heart attacks among Kashmir’s youth is alarming cardiologists, who are emphasizing the need of addressing potential causes.

The valley has not escaped the worldwide trend of growing non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and obesity which are a consequence of a sedentary lifestyle. However, doctors also stress that smoking is a major concern among a host of factors.

A cardiac arrest patient can be saved by prompt care, but a huge number of individuals do not reach the hospitals on time and die from cardiac episodes on a regular basis across Kashmir’s districts.

Cardiac Arrests cause deaths irrespective of seasons

In Kashmir, cardiac arrests were shown to be more prevalent in the winter than in the summer.

However, according to data from GMC Srinagar, 700 individuals had heart attacks in the four months of winter between mid-November and mid-March 2020.

During the summer months, when heart attacks are anticipated to be far less common, 600 persons were hospitalized with heart attacks between the beginning of May and the end of August.

Rising cardiac arrests among youth concerning

Previously, ageing was thought to be one of the leading causes of cardiac arrests, and it was most commonly observed in the elderly. However, cardiac arrests are becoming a common occurrence among young individuals.

In Kashmir, unexpected fatalities because of heart attacks in young individuals without any underlying illness have increased dramatically in recent years.

There have been several studies and reports on different recognized causes of sudden heart attacks in young individuals.

Young people are seeing an upsurge in abrupt heart attacks due to sedentary lifestyles, high-calorie foods, and decreased physical exercise. Cold weather and other associated socio-political concerns, however, are significant contributors in Kashmir.

Rising cardiac arrests in Kashmir have unique reasons

Despite the fact that these factors have a role in causing large cardiac arrests, the factors are irrelevant given the recent spike in deaths among young people.

The fact that none of the recognized factors that cause abrupt heart attacks in young individuals is relatively new to Kashmir is cause for concern. The proportion of fatalities attributable to heart attacks is much greater this time than it was, say, two years ago.

Of course, mental stress and suffering among Kashmiri youth — ranging from unemployment to feelings of insecurity and a lack of opportunities — is one of the most serious risk factors for nearly all ailments, including heart disease. In the majority of instances, it leads to drug addiction, drunkenness, and smoking, all of which contribute to rapid mortality from heart attacks.

Apart from that, the political instability has further marred any sustainable growth of the private sector in the valley.

However, in addition to all of the factors that lead to heart attacks, COVID-19 and its impact on the heart should be taken into consideration.

Furthermore, the influence of COVID-19 on young people’s drug addiction and the impact of growing drug addiction in Kashmir cannot be ruled out as contributory causes for abrupt heart attacks.