Heart Disease Deaths on the Rise Among Indian Youth


Why are young Indians prone to heart diseases and how can you prevent yourself from having one? Heart disease related deaths are getting younger day by day as many young Indians are found suffering from heart diseases. With an increase in lifestyle, young adults in India enjoy consuming junk food and instant packaged food, thus making their lives a mere chaos once diagnosed with a coronary heart disease.

The Registrar General of India states that cardiovascular diseases such as coronary heart disease has been plaguing Indians for over a decade. 32 percent of adult Indians have died between  2010 to 20131.

Rise in Heart Disease Among Indian Youth

However, it’s time India steps up against the rapidly rising rate of heart disease related deaths and ensure a healthy eating diet and curbing itself from being the capital of heart disease in the world.

Statistics of Heart Diseases in India:

Heart diseases have plagued India as it is now known to be leading cause of death in the country. According to a report by Global Burden of Diseases in 2016, 1.7 million Indians die due to heart disease out of the worlds 17.3 million deaths.

Why are so many young people in India suffering from heart attacks? According to the World Health Organisation, 17 million people on an average die due to heart related diseases every year. Out of the 17 million, 3 million dies of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) that include stroke and heart attacks.

A similar study by The Lancet, a weekly medical journal, found that heart related diseases were found more among people from rural India than that of Urban India. While obesity is considered to be the largest driver of deaths in the west, cardiovascular mortality kills 2.1 million Indians according to statistics in 2015. This has been on an increase since the 1970s.

The study also found that 40 percent of Indians under the age of 55 develop heart attack, of which 50 percent of heart patients have their first episode or get their first warning signal. Combining all of the above statistics show that young people in India are more prone to heart attacks.

Types of Heart Diseases in India:

While the percentage of heart related diseases in India have increased, understanding what types of heart diseases will add more insight into this article. We have dealt with the treatment costs for each in another post. Here are the types of heart diseases that affect your heart or blood vessels in your body:

Types of heart Disease

1) Coronary Artery Disease:

This includes narrowing of the coronary artery which is responsible for supplying blood to your heart. a sediment or block forms in in your arteries called plaque that slows down the flow of blood from your heart.

Symptoms of Coronary Artery Disease:

  • Angina (Chest Pain)
  • Shortness in breath
  • Heart Attack

2) Cardiomyopathy:

Initially, cardiomyopathy cannot be detected, meaning that it’s early signs and symptoms cannot be detected. However, as the condition progresses, it’s signs and symptoms can be felt.

Symptoms of Cardiomyopathy:

    • Severe breathlessness
    • Legs, feet and ankles swelling
    • Abdomen may bloat due to fluid buildup
    • Discomfort in the chest
    • Dizziness and fainting

Note: If not treated/ or undiagnosed, symptoms may tend to progress.

3) Vascular Heart Disease:

This disease damages the four valves of your heart. These valves can be categorised as mitral, aortic, tricuspid and pulmonary. Its severity varies and in many cases it’s symptoms cannot be identified. In advanced cases, this type of heart disease can lead to a heart failure. However, the treatment that it involves entirely depends on the extent of the disease.

4) Angina:

It is not a heart disease, but instead a symptom of coronary heart disease. This condition is usually caused due to less oxygen in the blood that reaches the heart. It may not be life threatening but if a person is known to have such a disease, it is understood that he/she has a type of heart disease that must be treated in its initial stages.

Symptoms of Angina:

    • Difficulty in breathing
    • Burning across the chest
    • Pain spreads to the arms, shoulders, throat, back or event to the teeth.
    • Indigestion
    • Sweating
    • Nausea
    • Body weakness

5) Rheumatic Heart Disease:

This type of disease damages two or more valves in your heart. It is generally caused by an episode and the hearts valves stretch interrupting the normal flow of blood. In this condition, blood flows backward through stretched valves. This makes the heart’s valves to function inadequately and a surgery may be the only way out.   

6) Heart Attack:

Usually during a heart attack, the supply of blood that nourishes the heart with oxygen is cut off and this causes the heart’s muscle to die.

  • Symptoms of Heart Attack:

7) Congenital Heart Disease:

It’s a disease that is prevalent since birth. The major areas which can be affected are the heart walls, valves, and blood vessels etc.

Symptoms of Congenital Heart Disease:

The symptoms regarding congenital heart disease may not be detected in its initial stages. Symptoms pertaining to this this disease can be viewed in two forms i.e. symptoms in a newborn child and general symptoms.

Newborn Symptoms include:

  • Skin, fingers, toes and skin turning bluish
  • Shortness in breath
  • Chest pain

General Symptoms Include:

  • Dizziness
  • Shortness in breath
  • Fainting
  • Swelling in body
  • Fatigue (The state of extreme tiredness)

8) Cerebrovascular Disease:

This type of disease refers to a number of conditions that may lead to a stroke, mostly pertaining to the supply of blood vessels to the brain. The words cerebro and vascular have independent meanings. Cerebro meaning a large part of the brain and vascular meaning arteries and veins. Both together refers to the blood flow to the brain. When the flow of blood is limited, it causes cerebrovascular disease.

Symptoms of Cerebrovascular Disease:

  • Paralysis
  • Sudden visual loss/ blurry vision
  • Vertigo
  • Facial numbness
  • Difficulty swallowing, headache, inability to understand, confusion etc.

Statistics of Heart Diseases Worldwide

Globally, an estimated 17.3 million people die from cardiovascular diseases, accounting to 30 percent of heart diseases. Here’s a list of countries other than India that are more prone to heart diseases:

United States:

Almost 6,30,000 people in America die of heart diseases every tear in the United States. Coronary heart diseases are the among the most common deaths, killing over 3,70,000 people annually. More than half of the deaths were identified in men. Every 40 seconds at least one person dies from a heart related problem in the US. Mississippi is the state with the highest death of heart disease i.e. 222.1 deaths per 1,00,000 part of the population. The states with lower death rates include, Alabama, Louisiana, Colorado, Oklahoma, Minnesota, and Arkansas.

United Kingdom:

60,000 people die from heart and circulatory diseases, while 73,000 people are said to die from coronary heart diseases in the UK. It has also been recorded that 40,000 people die due to sudden strokes and 42,000 people die from cardiovascular diseases.


Cardiovascular disease is the cause for over 3.9 million deaths in Europe and over 1.8 million deaths in the European Union (EU). However, the main reason for deaths in Central and Eastern Europe are ischemic heart diseases and stroke. According to a 2010 report by the World Health Organisation (WHO), evidence states that saturated fat and trans-fat have increased risk of coronary heart diseases while monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat reduces the risk of such diseases. We have dived deeper into this debate in a previous post.


Adults aged 30 have be prone to cardiovascular diseases in sub-saharan africa. The main causes for this disease is due to untreated hypertension and undiagnosed symptoms by doctors.This affects one in two Africans within the age group of 25 and is considered to be the highest rate than any other continent in the world.


  • How long does it take to recover from a heart attack?

You can return to your regular life within few weeks or 3 months depending on your condition. This depends on how active you are towards taking medicines and following your prescribed diet strictly. Ultimately, it depends on the way you respond to the treatment after heart attack.

  • What does a heart attack feel like?

A person experiencing a heart attack can feel a sense of severe squeezing pain in their chest, especially onto the left-side. Difficulty in breathing/ Toughness in breath, lightheadedness, and nausea are some of the other symptoms faced by the deceased.

  • Are men or Women more prone to heart attacks?

According to a 2013 study by the American Heart Association’s Quality of Care and Outcomes Research, women under 55 years are less likely to have heart attacks. This means that women are less prone to heart attacks than men.

  • How long can a person survive after getting a heart transplant?

The average life after a successful heart transplant is anywhere between 1 to 10 years. The mental quality of life of patients will be 10 years, while the physical quality of life among patients are may vary on basis of age, marriage and complications in impaired renal function (Kidney malfunction).

REPORT ON MEDICAL CERTIFICATION OF CAUSE OF DEATH . censusindia. http://www.censusindia.gov.in/2011-Documents/mccd_Report1/Mccd_2013.pdf.


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