Singer KK dies due to sudden cardiac arrest: Why are such cases on the rise?

Published on: 1 June 2022, 15:00 pm IST

The tragic death of singer Kk has prompted concerns about the rising number of cardiac arrest cases. Let's have a look at the risk factor.

Aayushi Gupta
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singer kk death
Don't take your heart health lightly. Image courtesy: Krishna Kumar Kunnath | Instagram
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Singer Krishnakumar Kunnath, popularly known as KK, passed away suddenly at the age of 53 after a live concert in Kolkata on Tuesday evening. He is said to have felt a sense of uneasiness after the livewire performance, following which he was rushed to a hospital. KK, loved for his mellifluous  succumbed to a cardiac arrest, a condition that is becoming rampant across age groups.

With an increase in cardiac arrests among young and middle-aged individuals in recent years, the assumption that it may only happen to senior citizens has entirely shifted. You may recall Raj Kaushal, Siddharth Shukla, and Aarti Agarwal, who died recently as a result of cardiac arrest and other complications.

KK performed at a Gurudas College concert in South Kolkata’s Nazrul Mancha on Tuesday. Afterwards, he felt uneasy and collapsed, hitting his head on a sofa and bleeding. He was immediately taken to the Calcutta Medical Research Institute (CMRI), where he was declared dead, as per reports which mentioned cardiac arrest as the cause.

singer kk death
Image courtesy: Krishna Kumar Kunnath | Instagram

Should you be concerned because the number of cases of cardiac arrest among young people is increasing?

According to the experts, the answer is yes!

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a rare disorder in which the heart stops beating unexpectedly. The heart has an electrical system that allows messages to flow in a predictable pattern, resulting in a regular pulse. Sudden cardiac arrest occurs when these ordered signals are disrupted, resulting in the abrupt end of normal heart function.

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, although the growing availability of early defibrillation increases the rates of survival, reported survival rates range from 3 percent to 10 percent. Patients who have had an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest are known to be at a higher risk of repeated arrhythmic episodes and sudden death. If treatment takes longer, the rate drops by around 10 percent for every minute that passes.

What is behind the rise in the number of cardiac arrests, especially among young people?

Dr Vivek Mahajan, Consultant Interventional Cardiology, Fortis Hospital, Kalyan, Mumbai, spoke to Health Shots about the risk factors and causes of cardiac arrest.

1. A sedentary lifestyle is to be blamed

Dr Mahajan says, “With modernization, we have adopted more of a Western lifestyle and are becoming physically sedentary. We are not doing manual work and are not doing physical labour like our ancestors who stayed physically active. We are living a sedentary lifestyle and we are relying more on gadgets and machines to get our work done, so physical work has taken a backseat. And this increases the chances of heart disease.”

2. A poor diet is also a cause

“We’ve adopted a Western diet that’s high in fats and calories, and we’ve abandoned our traditional Indian diet of dal, chawal, roti, and sabzi, which is simple and full of nutrients like fibre, minerals, and vitamins, as well as being low in calories and high in plant-based protein,” says Dr Mahajan. As a result of the change in diet and the move to a sedentary lifestyle, we are becoming increasingly vulnerable to cardiac arrest.

singer kk death
These are all the factors responsible for cardiac arrest. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

3. Other ailments

Not only that, but our population is increasingly indulging in drugs like smoking, alcohol, and cigarettes, which puts them at risk of cardiac arrest. Because of all of these variables, risk factors such as diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure are on the rise, and most individuals are unaware of this and are not getting this checked on a regular basis. And when these things go unchecked, they can lead to cardiac arrest.

4. Stress

Workplace stress is on the rise. We are more concentrated on our work; we do not take breaks, sleep, or engage in mind-body exercises. As a result, stress, lack of sleep, and anxiety might have a negative impact on Indian patients’ hearts.

So all of these factors, whether they are nutritional, exercise-related, or medication-related, are contributing to cardiac arrest, not to mention pollution, which is also leading to an increase in the number of cardiac arrest in Indian patients.

What could have been the risk factors for cardiac arrest in the case of singer KK while he was singing on stage?

Just last week, Malayalam singer Edava Basheer collapsed on stage while he was performing a song. He was 78. That makes KK’s death the second such instance, making us wonder about the risk factors of performing long concerts under the heat of lights and in the heat in general.

Also, read: Everything you need to about sudden cardiac arrest—including first aid

Dr. Mahajan said, “Extreme heat can cause a cardiac arrest because it causes extreme dehydration, thickening of the blood, and increased stress in the patient, all of which can lead to cardiac arrest, but this does not happen in all situations.”

singer kk death
Image courtesy: Krishna Kumar Kunnath | Instagram

Performers and artistes, in general, have an extremely hectic life.

The expert said, “All media professionals, as well as those in the entertainment business, who have extremely busy schedules, are stressed. They don’t get much sleep, and there’s a chance they’re nervous about doing so many gigs in such a short period of time. Their diet may be inconsistent, and there may not be a set time for them to eat. In fact, while at the event, people may consume a lot of junk food, or fast food, and travelling a lot may not be a smart idea. This may not apply to KK, but professionals in the film and entertainment industries are under a lot of stress. It is a risk factor behind a cardiac arrest,” says Dr Mahajan.

A source close to KK told Health Shots that he led a simple and healthy lifestyle, was a teetotaler and used to practice yoga daily.

Aayushi Gupta Aayushi Gupta

Candid, outspoken, but prudent--Aayushi is exploring her place in media world.

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