Chennai: Bollywood’s veteran actress Sridevi, who was a seemingly healthy woman in a very fit shape passed away after suffering a sudden cardiac arrest on Saturday night. While her demise is shocking to all, many people are, however, blaming cosmetic surgeries, strict diet plans and pressure to look healthy for her sudden death. It becomes important then to know the causes, risk factors and preventive factors of sudden cardiac arrest.
With the number of sudden cardiac arrest cases surging in youngsters, cardiologists emphasise that risk factors such as distress, cosmetic surgeries, strict diet plans and sedentary lifestyle need to be discussed. “As it is called ‘sudden’ cardiac arrest, there are only immediate symptoms such as loss of consciousness, no heartbeat, loss of pulse, fainting, chest pain, blackouts and shortness of breath. A cardiac arrest occurs when blood flow to the heart is obstructed, or the rhythm is disrupted – either too slow or very fast,” says Dr Suresh Rao, head, cardiac critical care, Fortis Malar.
Cardiologists say that it is not necessary that a person who suffers cardiac arrest should necessarily suffer from any heart disease. “Symptoms such as chest pain, fainting, fatigue, blackouts, shortness of breath and vomiting are common preceding cardiac arrest and a cardiac specialist needs to be consulted,” said Dr Suresh Rao.
“The incidence of sudden cardiac arrest is uncommon in women, but the risk increases after menopause in women. The risk of a cardiac arrest in women after menop-ause is as likely as it is in men and at the age of 54, the chances are high of getting a cardiac arrest due to any type of rhythm disturbance in heart,” says Dr R Shanti, an obstetrician.
While size zero and special diet plans remain in trend, weight loss is a major concern for all. However, dieticians emphasise that drugs such as thyroxin and anti-appetite pills cause disturbance to the normal function of the hormones and affects metabolism.
“The short term methods to lose weight are being promoted that actually take a toll on the health of an individual. Thyroxin increases the metabolism by causing pressure on the heart, which increases the risk of cardiac arrest. Likewise, anti-appetite medicines act as appetite suppressants and impact heart and liver severely. However, a healthy lifestyle, controlled diet and adequate sleep along with mediation and Yoga are the natural ways by which a healthy weight can be maintained,” says dietician Dr K Dharani.
“Keto diet has already reported a lot of complications in foreign countries. An only-protein diet should not be promoted, as the body functions require a balanced diet with all nutrients,” she adds.
Cosmetic surgeons label repeated surgeries as life threatening as they increase the risk of cardiac arrest manifold. “We emphasise on obligatory consent before a procedure is done on anyone. Celebrities usually have a lot of pressure to maintain their physical appearance, but it is a known fact that repeated cosmetic surgeries are a stress to the body,” says cosmetic surgeon Dr Jyotsna Murthy.
It is to be noted that cosmetic surgeries such as liposuction can lead to immediate cardiac arrest if the drug reaches the veins, which is one of the most common complexity in case of cosmetic surgeries.