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Heart attacks among young


In the last few months, several cases of apparently healthy young men dying of cardiac arrests have come to the fore in Kashmir. The trend is worrying as in most of these cases, the deceased did not have any underlying illness, or any symptoms. Most of those who passed away were carrying on with their daily routine when they suffered heart attacks and passed away within a short duration. Many of them did not even make it to the nearest hospital or healthcare facility. One of Kashmir’s valued young journalists, Mudassir Ali too passed away in a similar fashion in November last year. Mudassir had been working till midnight of November 19 post which he complained of discomfort and eventually died on the way to Srinagar hospital during the night. Just this week, two persons, including a PhD scholar and a 22-year-old girl, died due to heart attacks. Reports said that the girl suffered a massive heart attack at her residence in village Bandi Bala in north Kashmir district of Baramulla last Wednesday morning. She was taken to a local hospital where she was declared brought dead. Similarly, the PhD scholar, identified as Shakeel Ahmad Dar, died of a heart attack at his residence in village Wathoora in central Kashmir district of Budgam. While health experts point out a certain set of reasons, most of them are generic and pertain to basic physiological and lifestyle matters, there has not been a definitive explanation for these mysterious deaths. Generally, doctors say that elderly people with underlying cardiovascular and diabetic conditions are prone to heart attacks in winters wherein frigid temperatures constrict blood vessels increasing blood pressure which in turn likely increase the chances of heart attack or stroke. The blood in elderly population group tends to be thicker and stickier with increased viscosity during extreme cold weather conditions notably during chilla-e-kalan in the valley which makes it easier to clot. But to everyone’s surprise, even the young and healthy individuals are brought to hospitals during winters with these conditions and many of them lose their lives. As per the doctors working at Kashmir based hospitals, there are up to 53 percent more heart attacks in winter compared to summer. Research says and for every 2.9 degree centigrade decline in temperature, the number of strokes in the general population goes up by 11 percent and that may further go upto 30% in persons who are already at higher risk due to different associated comorbid conditions like those from metabolic syndrome. Covid-19 too is a risk factor in the increasing rate of heart attacks and stroke in the general population and in Kashmir valley in particular. But all of this still does not explain the sudden increase of such cases in the younger population. One expects the doctors of the valley to study and research about the exact reasons for such incidents. It may help save lives in the future.