Singer and composer Krishnakumar Kunnath, known by his stage name KK, passed away on May 31 at the age of 53. The singer fell ill while performing at a live concert in Kolkata on Tuesday and was brought to the hospital, where he was declared dead.
Speaking to ANI, Dr Naresh Trehan, Chairman and Managing Director of Medanta Hospital said, “As a young man, who is 50+ years old and had no major problems and dies suddenly. There are many such examples where a healthy person went to sleep and did not wake up. These are because of coronary artery diseases and high blood pressure which are silent killers.”
He further said, “It is the known statistics that Indians have a higher propensity percentage of people who will get heart disease 2 to 3 times that of the Western world.”
He also stressed on the role of genes as a factor behind many diseases including heart disease.
Explaining the factors behind cardiac diseases, Dr Trehan said people get predisposed to coronary artery diseases due to genetic factors. Further, a sedentary lifestyle and lack of exercise also contribute to the disease.
“We tell people to ‘know your genes’. One should pay attention to family history. If you have heart disease in your family then the children will have double the risk. If you have diabetes in the family, then the children will have doubled the risk of developing diabetes,” he said.
Dr Trehan further said if the heart disease is already in the family then one must get tests done timely.
He further said, “We suggest today that by the age of 25, people who have positive family history should get their first checkup. And then we identify the risk factors and guide them accordingly for the rest of their life. Similarly, people who do not have a history should get their first checkup by the age of 30 because there are problems that are existing, which we do not know about.”
“Another most dangerous factor is fried and refried food. Stress contributes to high blood pressure. We do have a large proportion of people who are smokers at a young age. So tobacco and chewing tobacco both create damage to the coronary arteries,” Dr Trehan added.
Emphasising on recognising symptoms, Dr Ashok Seth, Chairman of Fortis Escorts Heart Institute said, “Singer KK’s sad and untimely death has left all with important lessons. Firstly, recognise symptoms of heart attack – central chest/left arm discomfort, unusual cold profuse sweating, nervousness, feeling faint and severe indigestion not being relieved by antacids.”
Explained further on what needs to be done after symptoms, Dr Seth said, “Do not delay. Whatever the time is day or night, go straight to the nearest hospital and get an ECG done. It could be life-saving. Most of the deaths from heart attack occur in the first hour.”