Man dies of heart attack watching Avatar 2; what cardiologists say | Health

Sudden cardiac deaths are increasingly becoming common as people are dropping dead dancing in movies, driving vehicles and even during their wedding ceremonies. According to media reports, a man from Kakinada district of Andhra Pradesh died of heart attack while watching James Cameron’s Avatar 2 with his younger brother. He collapsed in the middle of the movie and was declared brought dead when taken to the hospital. According to a study, watching movies with stressful scenes can trigger changes to the heart’s beating pattern. But can it cause sudden cardiac death? We asked experts. (Also read: How to take care of your heart and lungs in winter season; expert offers tips)


“Heart attack can cause a cardiac arrest and patient can have sudden cardiac death also. Heart attack can be due to blockage in arteries especially when there are issues like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sugar, heavy smoking, obesity, or bad genetics. So when you are not accustomed to some exercise regime and if you undertake sudden exercise routine like you do some weight lifting etc you can collapse. Especially after Covid, there is a continuing inflammation in our blood vessels.

Because of stress, increase in BP like what happened in this case, arteries of heart could have ruptured and that can cause sudden cardiac arrest,” says Dr Sanjeev Gera, Director and HOD – Cardiology, Fortis Hospital, Noida.


“When you have got risk factors, all these things can cause development of small blockages in heart arteries which under stressful conditions can rupture and cause heart attack. Cardiac arrest can be due to heart attack or rhythm disturbances too. There are some genetic conditions that can cause it. Whenever there is acute stress, mental stress, physical stress it can cause rhythmic disturbances. Sudden arrhythmias can cause heart attack. There is one condition called coronary dissection. The arteries that are supplying to heart can suddenly get dissected or get ruptured that can cause heart attack, causing sudden cardiac arrest and death,” added Dr Gera.


“When a patient dies suddenly, the most common cause for that is an entity called sudden cardiac death. Sudden cardiac by definition is death occurring within 1 hour of onset of symptoms. Other causes of sudden death may be pulmonary embolism, large intracranial bleed or toxin exposure. Aortic dissection or rupture is another cause. In this man the most probable cause would be a heart attack with ventricular tachycardia/fibrillation leading to death. People with underlying heart problems can die suddenly due to extreme stress/ excitement. This may be due to a plaque rupture in the coronaries or triggering of an arrhythmia due to the excitement. These kinds of deaths do happen during exciting matches/emotional situations. The movie per se is unlikely to have caused death,” says Dr. Pradeep Kumar D, Sr. Consultant – Interventional Cardiology, Aster CMI Hospital.


“Unfortunately, in our country many young people are getting heart attack which goes unnoticed. Every year the cases are increasing in India. The cases of heart attack have gone up by 15% to 20% in past 2 months. The reasons behind the young heart attacks are diabetes, sedentary lifestyle, air pollution, stress, heavy workout, steroids etc. Also, Asian Indians is they are genetically prone to develop heart attacks, on top of that, adoption of western lifestyle which leads to further mutation in that defective gene makes Indian more prone to heart attacks. Even during COVID many young people died of heart attacks as COVID was not only a disease of lungs but of inflammation as well. Even if you don’t have any symptoms, you must check diabetes and blood pressure regularly. At a times when sugar or BP is high, you’re not aware of it, initially these two things give no prior symptoms. For keeping your heart health proper, you must take stress test, 2D echo, cholesterols and ECG,” says Dr Ravi Gupta, Consultant Cardiologist Wockhardt Hospital, Mumbai Central.

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