World Heart Day: Fatality during exercise increases due to underlying heart-related problems, say doctors

According to World Health organization (WHO), Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the leading cause of death globally, taking an estimated 17.9 million lives each year.

World Heart Day: Fatality during exercise increases due to underlying heart-related problems, say doctors

Photo: IANS

Actor-comedian Raju Srivastava’s death, after being hospitalised for over 40 days, has highlighted the high fatality rate caused by heart diseases. On the day when World Heart Day is being observed, question still lingers in mind about how to keep heart healthy.

According to World Health organization (WHO), Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the leading cause of death globally, taking an estimated 17.9 million lives each year.

CVDs are a group of disorders of the heart and blood vessels and include coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, rheumatic heart disease and other conditions.


More than four out of five CVD deaths are due to heart attacks and strokes, and one third of these deaths occur prematurely in people under 70 years of age.

Talking about the same, here are some of the cardiologists who have shared their inputs on how to keep yourself away from CVDs.

 Dr Ajay Kaul – Chairman, Cardiac Sciences, Fortis Hospital, Noida

Sudden Cardiac death has emerged as a disturbing concern following COVID-19, although the direct cause of association of sudden cardiac deaths with COVID remains to be proven. It is very important to have a healthy lifestyle which includes having plenty of fluids and a well-balanced diet. It’s suggested to not indulge in strenuous exercises if you have post-COVID cardiac health-related issues.

Do consult a medical professional before undertaking bodybuilding exercises and supplements. A person must consult a doctor before taking random medicines because it may create coagulation problems.

It is always good to follow a healthy lifestyle like avoiding smoking, doing regular exercise, drinking plenty of fluids, do not perform strenuous exercise that may hamper your health. Exercises like yoga are extremely useful along with a proper diet regime which includes consumption of healthy food with an equal amount of nutritional benefits and abstaining from junk food.

Besides, the gym trainers are not well qualified or experienced enough to take care of your life while doing heavy exercises. Patients who are suffering from serious cardiac ailments and performing heavy workout sessions need proper guidance.

Fatality during heavy exercise increases because of underlying heart-related problems like cardiomyopathy or hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. There are certain other conditions like congenital heart disease which go unnoticed and otherwise are totally asymptomatic.

They only manifest in extreme exercise conditions. The increase in sudden cardiac death is also due to increasing mental stress and a sedentary lifestyle which is being followed these days by many youngsters and hampering their day-to-day routine.

Dr. Bimal Chhajer, Cardiologist, former consultant at AIIMS and  founder of SAAOL Heart Institute(Science and Art of Living)

Heart Attacks, Cardiac Arrests and Arrhythmias have become very common nowadays, especially in the younger to middle-aged generation. The reason the younger generation suffers from these ailments is because of unhealthy lifestyle choices and stress. Stress of performing at work or stress of creating a better lifestyle for themselves and their families often leads to adapting bad habits like smoking, drinking and unhealthy eating patterns. These habits then cause problems with the heart leading to either a heart attack or a cardiac arrest. Getting rid of this pressure or stress associated with one’s life by activities like Yoga and Meditation is the key to having a healthy lifestyle.

Recently we have also seen many celebrity cases of Cardiac arrests of some of the renowned people like Comedian Raju Shrivastava.

The comedian had suffered two cardiac arrests and even though he survived the first one, Raju couldn’t survive the second cardiac arrest. The same went with Bigg Boss sensation Siddharth Shukla and famous Bollywood Singer KK.

Due to poor conditions, KK performed without AC and with high adrenaline and sweat, the singer suffered from a cardiac arrest.

Dr Kamal Gupta, Principal Consultant Cardiologist, Fortis Escorts Hospital Faridabad

As per recent research, lack of adequate knowledge about the disease is considered one of the barriers to self-care in heart failure. There is a need to raise awareness of the fact that heart diseases are often accompanied by subtle symptoms and therefore, timely diagnosis is the key. There is a need to raise awareness around regular health check-ups and a healthy lifestyle.

Prevention should be the cornerstone starting from a young age, especially in people with a family history of CVDs. Some steps to be undertaken include eating a healthy diet, doing regular physical activity, and avoiding habits like smoking and drinking. It is also imperative to keep other vitals such as blood pressure and blood sugar under check.

People in their 30s and 40s are increasingly becoming prone to heart diseases today. Some of the risk factors include high-stress levels, unhealthy lifestyles, family history of the condition, etc.

In many cases, the blockages are silent and lead to disruptive functioning of the heart and over time, can cause a sudden heart attack or even a cardiac arrest. Non-detection or faint symptoms can worsen the outcome. That is why it becomes imperative to be aware of the symptoms of heart disease.

Apart from early signs such as chest pain, cold sweats, and feeling of heaviness in the chest, the symptoms may most often not be apparent until a severe heart problem or a stroke has occurred.

Some warning signs relating to other heart problems include a feeling of dizziness, pacing or slow heartbeat, and shortness of breath after climbing stairs, extreme fatigue, and palpitations which can signal cardiac arrhythmia. Timely detection can ensure better outcomes.

For people who develop complications due to heart disease, there are various treatment options. Angioplasty is one such effective treatment for treating blockages in the coronary arteries which can help in improving the quality of life. It helps in the restoration of blood flow and can lead to improvement in cardiac pumping over time.

Dr. Sandesh Prabhu, Consultant – Cardiology and Electrophysiology, Manipal Hospital’s Whitefield, said, “We have seen an increase in the prevalence of hypertension during the pandemic, commonly due to work from home. Not only in blood pressure, but also cholesterol, diabetes etc.”

 Padma Shri Dr. Praveen Chandra, Cardiologist, Chairman of Interventional Cardiology at Medanta

Heart attack occurs when the flow of blood to the heart is severely reduced or blocked. The blockage is usually due to a buildup of fat, cholesterol and other substances in the heart (coronary) arteries, he added. He stressed upon prompt treatment needed for a heart attack to prevent death and not wait till last hour.