Dr Shiv Kumar, senior cardiologist at Apollo Hospitals said that he has been seeing increased heart-related issues in people – young and old.

AP Industries and Information Technology Minister Mekapati Gautham Reddy in a blue shirt smiling: Friends, aides shocked at his sudden death
news Health Monday, February 21, 2022 - 18:39

Mekapati Goutham Reddy’s sudden death after a cardiac arrest has left many shocked. The 50-year-old, who was the Andhra Pradesh Industries and Information Technology Minister, was known to be a fitness enthusiast and never missed a workout. This has made it even more difficult for his family and close friends to accept the loss.

On the morning of Monday, February 21, Goutham Reddy was in Hyderabad preparing to go to the gym when he experienced shortness of breath. As his pulse rate started to drop, his staff immediately rushed him to Apollo Hospital in Jubilee Hills, which is a 10-minute drive away. According to the hospital, Goutham Reddy was brought in at 7.45 am. He was unresponsive, not breathing and in cardiac arrest on arrival. “He received immediate CPR and advanced cardiac life support in our emergency department. The emergency medicine team and specialists including cardiologists and critical care doctors attended to him. CPR was done for more than 90 min. Despite our best efforts, he could not be revived,” the hospital said in an official statement.

According to a close aide, Goutham Reddy had returned from Dubai early on Sunday morning and was at home all day. In the evening he attended an engagement ceremony. TDP leader and former minister Somireddy Chandramohan Reddy said that he had met Goutham Reddy at the engagement. "I met him at 8.30 last night and I can't believe that he is not with us at 8.30 in the morning," he said.

Speaking to TNM, Sandeep, the IT Minister’s personal assistant, who accompanied him everywhere, said, “The minister was getting ready for the gym in the morning when he suddenly collapsed. He never missed a single day of workout. He would work out for around an hour daily. Even if he was away for a day or two, he would take his personal trainer along. His trainer had accompanied him to Dubai as well, where he had gone on an official trip.”

Goutham Reddy was very fond of sports as well according to those who knew him. “Fishing, trekking, and climbing were his favourite sports. He loved taking risks and was fearless,” added Sandeep. According to a family friend, who has known Goutham and his family for nearly 15 years, he was a man who was very passionate about fitness. “He was heavily into fitness and was an avid adventure sports person. Goutham would do both water and weight training and was extremely fit,” said the family friend on condition of anonymity. Sandeep also added that the minister was very calm and didn’t seem to be worried or stressed over anything before his death. 

The number of young people suffering from heart-related issues has been on the rise lately – even among those who are seemingly fit. While various factors such as obesity, smoking, unhealthy lifestyles and family history have been known to contribute to heart disease, recent studies have also linked cardiac arrests to COVID-19. 

Increased heart-related issues following COVID-19

Last April, Goutham contracted COVID-19. Again, in January 2022 he tested positive for the coronavirus. Dr Shiv Kumar, senior cardiologist at Apollo Hospitals said that he has been seeing more heart-related issues in people who have recovered from COVID-19. “We are seeing increased heart attacks and strokes following COVID-19. It is affecting both men and women, young and old. It is even affecting those with no cardiac risk factors,” said Dr Kumar. A heart attack is one of the reasons that can lead to cardiac arrest.

“If the clot blocks the heart blood vessels it can cause a heart attack. If it blocks the brain vessels it can result in a stroke,” said Dr Kumar.

Speaking to TNM, Dr Pramod Kumar Kuchulakanti, senior Interventional Cardiologist at Yashoda hospitals in Hyderabad, said the main reasons for sudden cardiac-related deaths are a change in lifestyle, higher incidence of diabetes, blood pressure, high cholesterol, sedentary life and stress. Genetic factors may also be a reason.

Talking about ways to prevent these unfortunate incidents, Dr Pramod said, “The only way to prevent the occurrence is to perform preventive checks. In my opinion, everyone above 25 years of age should have their blood sugar, cholesterol, Lp (a), and homocysteine tested. Blood pressure should be checked. A baseline ECG, 2D Echo and treadmill test should be conducted in high-risk individuals. When deemed necessary, advanced tests like CT Coronary Angiogram or a conventional Coronary Angiogram should be performed.”

“Appropriate medications should be started for blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol etc. Lifestyle changes like giving up smoking, alcohol in moderation, regular exercises preferably jogging, walking, cycling, swimming should be emphasised. Dietary modification and weight management is important,” the doctor added. 

Read: ‘Warm gentleman, bright politician’: Condolences pour in for Mekapati Goutham Reddy

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