23-year-old suffers severe heart attack due to smoking

| Updated: May 26, 2017 21:31 IST

New Delhi [India], May 26 (ANI): With several reasons attributing to a paradigm shift in the age groups suffering from heart attacks to younger age brackets, tobacco induced cardiac arrests rate as one of the topmost ones. The team that saved the patient in his early 20s was led by Dr. Sanjay Mittal, Consultant Cardiologist, Columbia Asia Hospitals, Ghaziabad. The patient, 23-year-old Anshul Pandey (name changed to protect identity), was a hale and hearty youngster with no previous medical records. When he was presented to the team of doctors with acute chest pain, he received a shock of his life at being diagnosed with a heart attack. Doctors revealed that regular smoking is the only predominant risk factor that could have led to Anshul's condition. Fortunately for the patient, what could have been fatal was averted. "When Anshul came to our hospital, he was having acute chest pain followed by breathlessness and discomfort in the heart. After clinically assessing his condition, we decided to conduct ECHO (echocardiogram test) and ECG immediately. The graphic outline of the heart movement in Anshul was bothering as it showed hypokinesis of the left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD) territory inside the heart. This indicated the muscles of his heart were not contracting normally, and wall motion abnormalities could have turned life-threatening without immediate medical attention. The ECG displayed elevation of ST levels, in other words, the vertical distance inside the ECG trace and the baseline was abnormally high. The findings of both the tests clearly indicated myocardial infarction, which was indeed surprising to note in a patient of his age," says Dr. Sanjay Mittal, Consultant Cardiologist, Columbia Asia Hospitals, Ghaziabad. The patient had to undergo angiography and primary angioplasty as part of the treatment plan. "Angiography is an imaging technique for visualizing the inside blood vessels arteries, veins, and the heart chambers, which helps to detect blockages in the coronary arteries. Anshul's Angiography revealed 100% blockage in the LAD artery. Surgical repair or unblocking of the distressed artery was done after that with primary angioplasty, which is a minimally invasive endovascular procedure to widen narrowed arteries or veins. The angioplasty was also followed by a coronary stenting procedure," informs Dr. Sanjay Mittal. Stenting involves placing a small mesh tube temporarily inside a constricted or blocked blood vessel to aid healing, and helps in better blood flow to all parts of the heart and other parts of the body. Together, the stenting procedure and angioplasty widening the blockage of the LAD territory and relieve the initial symptoms of the heart attack. "After the successfully conducted heart surgeries within a matter of few hours, the patient's stay was uneventful afterwards and he was discharged after 3 days in a stable condition. He has been recommended follow-up checks and has been advised to quit smoking forever," adds Dr. Mittal. Dr Mittal says that this is the first time he has seen a patient suffering from a heart attack at such a young age (and with no previous co-morbidities surprisingly). He also feels that smoking was the one and only risk factor to be blamed for this sudden myocardial infarction at a very early age. When you smoke, more than 7,000 chemicals spread throughout your entire body and all of your organs. It is important to note that the effects of smoking not only impact the smoker, but also those around him/her. Smoking in any form increases one's risk for heart attacks, and at any age whatsoever, suggests clinical evidence, as it damages the lining of your arteries, leading to build up of fatty material which narrows an artery inside the heart. "This case could serve as an example or eye-opener as to why people should never smoke, even if they are smoking socially. As a leading healthcare provider in Delhi-NCR, we have been actively campaigning and been involved in raising public awareness against the ill effects of smoking at every level of the society. The way the surgical repair of the young patient was performed is indeed highly commendable, and I congratulate our team of doctors who took a pro-active emergency response to deal the critical situation in the 23-year-old boy," says Atul Behll, General Manager, Columbia Asia Hospitals. The patient and his parents expressed their gratitude to the team of doctors. "We are so thankful that our son is back with us. This could have been possible only with quick decisions that the doctors took and saved his life." India currently witnesses nearly two million heart attacks every year, and majority of the victims are youngsters, suggests various epidemiological studies conducted in the recent past. A heart attack could be caused by smoking, alcohol consumption, high blood pressure, sedentary lifestyle, and other lifestyle risk factors. Research shows that early signs of cardiovascular diseases can be found in people who smoke at a young age. (ANI)