How old is your heart?


The sudden death of musician, Sir Bob Geldof’s daughter Peaches Geldof was attributed to her having ‘the heart of a 90-year-old’, despite being only 25. City cardiologists look at the heart risks youngsters here faceThe sudden death of the young and seemingly sprightly writer and TV pre-senter Peaches Geldof came as a sur-prise to thousands of her fans on social media as well as casual watchers of ce-lebrity news the world over, apart from her immediate family of course, who was shattered by the news. “Peaches has died. We are beyond pain. She was the wildest, funniest, cleverest, wittiest and the most bonkers of all of us. Writing ‘was’ destroys me afresh. What a beauti-ful child. How is this possible that we will not see her again? How is that bearable?” eulogised her father Bob Geldof.While her heartbroken family continues to grasp for more clues as to her sudden passing, the coroner, in his report stated that the deceased Geldof had “the heart of a 90-year-old”, despite being only 25.By her own admission, in interviews to the foreign media, Geldof had said, “I had cholesterol and the doctors said stop eat-ing s***. So I did. If you stop eating pizza and chips you then don’t look like you used to. Do I really look that thin? Let’s be honest. How did I do it? I just stopped eat-ing junk food and f****** s*** every day. I used to eat s*** every single day. I used to wake up with my boyfriend and eat crap. I had the heart of a 90-year-old gangster.”Back home in Mumbai, a lot of 20-some-things can draw a parallel, albeit without the bluster, whether by choice or not, thanks to long work hours and food that we shove down our throats as a hunger palliative rather than a source of quality nutrition. Because of this, combined with genetic factors (which can compound the matter) city cardiologists say that it is very possiblethat someone so young can have the heart health of a nonagenarian.“A chronic lack of physical exercise, along with lifestyle issues adds to the problem of accelerated atherosclerosis. These days, the majority of exercise that peo-ple in that age group get, is using their thumbs for texting, instant messaging, social media and what not. This, on top of a genetic background pre-dispositioned to infarction as well as poor lifestyle leads to young people having such problems,” says Dr Ajay Kantharia, a clinical cardiol-ogist. Moreover, the kind of quick-fix diet Geldof favoured (surprising, given that because of her affluent background, she had access to the best of food) also put her in high-risk strata.For young Mumbaiites working in high stress jobs that cuts across industries — be it law, medicine, media or other jobs, the importance of regular preventative check-ups cannot be understated.