TV Actor Rituraj Singh’s Untimely Demise Sparks Questions on the Interplay of Pancreatic Illness and Heart Issues

Ronit Kawale
Ronit Kawale  - Senior Editor
3 Min Read

The recent passing of TV actor Rituraj Singh due to sudden cardiac arrest, following treatment for pancreatic illness at the age of 59, has raised inquiries into the potential connection between the two conditions and whether pancreatic disease poses a risk to heart health. While several studies have suggested an association, definitive causation remains unclear.

Dr. Sanjeev Gera, Director and HOD of Cardiology at Fortis Hospital, Noida, sheds light on this correlation, stating, “Pancreatic illness alone cannot directly cause cardiac arrest unless an individual harbors an undisclosed or undiagnosed heart condition, or possesses risk factors such as diabetes, high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar levels, cholesterol issues, smoking habits, or a stressful and sedentary lifestyle. Individuals with these risk factors, coupled with pancreatic illness, may be susceptible to small blockages rupturing and causing a heart attack. Clotting and blockages can also interfere with the heart’s electrical impulses, leading to sudden cardiac arrest.”

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Dr. Gera notes that individuals with pancreatic illness often exhibit habits like alcohol consumption and heavy smoking, increasing the likelihood of silent heart disease. In cases of acute pancreatitis, where infection is present, increased inflammation in the body can lead to thickening of blood and clot formation. Inflammation also damages blood vessel walls, making plaque rupture, clotting, and subsequent heart attacks more probable. When a heart attack disrupts blood flow and damaged heart tissue interferes with electrical signals controlling the heart, sudden cardiac arrest may occur.

Stress cardiomyopathy, triggered by acute pancreatitis, is another consideration. Dr. Gera explains, “This condition induces the release of adrenaline and noradrenaline in response to stress, narrowing arteries and reducing blood flow to the heart. Excess adrenaline may also cause an influx of calcium into cells, disrupting proper heart function, leading to arrhythmia, cardiac arrest, and sudden heart stoppage.”

For individuals with pancreatic illness, Dr. Gera recommends a preventive approach during treatment. “If you have co-existing health issues, undergo a comprehensive heart check-up. Even without these issues, monitor the severity of your illness. Persistent infections may warrant an echocardiogram, ECG, and other cardiac tests,” advises Dr. Gera.

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