Shane Warne dies of suspected heart attack at 52; know what may cause sudden heart attacks

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Legendary Australian spinner Shane Warne passed away Friday due to suspected heart attack. He was 52. According to a brief statement released by Warne’s management the legendary cricketer passed away in Koh Samui, Thailand. “Shane was found unresponsive in his villa and despite the best efforts of medical staff, he could not be revived,” the statement read, adding, “The family requests privacy at this time and will provide further details in due course.” (Also read: Shane Warne, Australian spin great, dies aged 52 of ‘suspected heart attack‘)

The cricketer last year in September suffered from a bout of Covid-19 and got hospitalised. A fitness enthusiast, in 2019, Warne also made news for losing a whopping 15 kg weight.

There has been a rising trend of sudden heart attack in people aged 40-50 and even younger. Stress, sedentary lifestyle, excessive consumption of fast food, heavy smoking, are said to be some of the reasons behind it.

As per WHO (World Health Organization), heart attacks and strokes are usually acute events and are mainly caused by a blockage that prevents blood from flowing to the heart or brain.

Symptoms of a heart attack may include pain or discomfort in the centre of the chest or pain or discomfort in the arms, the left shoulder, elbows, jaw or back. Apart from this, breathing difficulty or shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, light-headedness, cold sweat can be noticed.

HT Digital spoke to a couple of cardiac experts about the possible reasons of a sudden heart attack.

Sedentary lifestyle and chronic diseases

“Heart attack and sudden cardiac death are affecting people across the age group. In a heart attack, the blood flow to the heart is stopped which acutely damages the heart. There is a rise in cardiovascular diseases across the globe due to sedentary lifestyle and other risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes etc. Exercise is good for your health but unaccustomed exercise might lead to heart damage and rhythm disorders. Consumption of alcohol, smoking, habit forming drugs could lead to a heart attack,” says Dr Ankur Phatarpekar, Director CATH Lab, Symbiosis Hospital, Mumbai.

Too much exercise

“We all believe that running marathons and getting a six-pack abs is good for our health. However, as with everything else, even exercise is good only in moderation. Strenuous exercise can cause “oxygen debt” in the cardiac tissue, which can trigger cardiac arrhythmia and death. Also, increase in heart rate and BP with overzealous exercise can cause microscopic tears in our heart arteries, which are nidus for clot formation. This clot can then occlude one of our major heart artery and cause a life-threatening heart attack,” says Dr Kaushal Chhatrapati, Interventional Cardiologist, Wockhardt Hospital, Mumbai Central.

Covid-19, clot formation, and genetic factors

“Clot formation due to Covid-19 can be one of the reasons we get heart attack. Smoking makes the blood thicker due to which there are clots and that can cause heart attacks. Besides, genetics remains the most important factor for heart attack. It predisposes you to it. Also, if your blood is hyper-coagulable genetically, as it may happen with some people, that also predisposes you to a heart attack. Diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, sedentary lifestyle also predisposes you to heart attack,” Dr Aparna Jaswal Director – Cardiac Pacing and Electrophysiology, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, Okhla, New Delhi told HT Digital in a telecon some of the reasons of heart attack.


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