Heart Disease In The United States
Heart disease remains the leading cause of death in the United States. And doctors are beginning to notice an uptick in the number of teenagers diagnosed with high blood pressure and high cholesterol definite risk factors for heart disease. Thats why its vital for everyone to understand the risk factors or things that increase the risk of a heart attack and the risk of heart disease.
Staying heart healthy means taking an active role in ones own wellbeing as well as that of those for whom we are entrusted to care. Good health and heart-healthy habits can be instilled in young children and teenagers from an early age physical activity is important as are good dietary habits.
As U.S. News and World Report documents, heart problems or the kinds of things that eventually lead to heart problems can begin at a very early age, according to Dr. Gregory Perens, who is a pediatric cardiologist at UCLA Mattel Childrens Hospital. That same story notes that beyond genetics, the earliest risk factors include maternal smoking while the child is still in utero.
Doctors recommend breastfeeding infants, if possible this has been found to lower a childs risk of developing heart disease later in life.
In other words, a lack of sleep in young people can start a chain reaction of health problems up to and including heart disease.
What Are The Signs That I May Have Developed A Heart Problem After Covid
There are many symptoms reported in the post-COVID period, and there are multiple potential causes for these symptoms, says Post.
Severe fatigue is common after infection with the coronavirus, just as it is after any serious illness. Many people experience shortness of breath, chest pain or palpitations. Any of these problems could be related to the heart, but they could also be due to other factors, including the aftermath of being very ill, prolonged inactivity and spending weeks convalescing in bed, she says.
POTS after COVID-19. People recovering from the coronavirus sometimes show symptoms of a condition known as POTS . Researchers are exploring whether or not there is a link.
POTS isnt directly a cardiac problem, but a neurologic one that affects the part of the nervous system that regulates heart rate and blood flow. The syndrome can cause rapid heartbeats when you stand up, which can lead to brain fog, fatigue, palpitations, lightheadedness and other symptoms.
Causing Heart Attacks Differently
Typical heart attacks are caused by plaque and a blood clot that blocks a heart artery. But SCAD starts with a tear or bleed in the wall of a heart artery that blocks blood flow to the heart, causing a heart attack.
SCAD patients are generally healthy. They have no or few risk factors like smoking, being overweight or having diabetes. So even if they seek treatment for classic heart attack symptoms, theyre often misdiagnosed with problems like anxiety or indigestion. Misdiagnosis can lead to treatment that may cause more damage.
Symptoms of SCAD include:
- Pain in the shoulders, arms, back, neck or jaw
- Nausea, lightheadedness and sweating
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Can You Develop Angina In Your 20s
Although Angina is commonly seen in middle-aged to older male patients, it can be a condition anyone, regardless of age or sex, can get. Remember that Angina is not a disease, but simply chest pain in its manner which could be a symptom of an underlying heart issue.
Lets take a look at the possibility of younger people getting angina, why it could happen, and what someone with angina can do.
Risk Factors For Young People
Modifiable risk factors are those that can be successfully treated or controlled over time. While there are several modifiable risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease in the young, the most common are smoking and drug use, high blood pressure , and elevated LDL cholesterol. Hypertension alone is a risk factor that causes 13% of deaths worldwide. A sedentary lifestyle, alcohol abuse, and unhealthy eating also contribute to these risk factors. Additionally, a family history of cardiovascular disease is a non-modifiable factor that can increase the risk of developing heart disease.
Obesity is frequently a causative factor for hyperlipidemia , hypertension, and type-2 diabetes. While obesity can be detrimental to adult health, childhood obesity carries with it a higher chance of these risk factors becoming more severe as an adult thereby increasing their odds of developing cardiovascular disease. Healthier eating habits, reducing sedentary time, and staying active can significantly reduce the odds of developing CVD or any of its risk factors.
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Why Healthy Young People Have Heart Attacks
They exercise. They eat well. They dont smoke. And yet these younger people have recovered from heart attacks.
Amy Josar never had trouble picking up her dog. After all, Recey, the Jack Russell-pug mix, weighed only 17 pounds. But one night in the summer of 2016, Josar just couldnt do it. She hadnt been feeling well for a few days, with a handful of symptomschest pressure she attributed to the summers heat, plus diarrhea, indigestion, intense sweatsthat made her wonder whether she had a virus.
But it wasnt a virus. It was a heart attack. Josar was only 37 years old.
We have heart disease in our family, but its a generation removed and it affected people much older, Josar told The Daily Beast. I was just, like, How did this happen?
Josar is one of about 735,000 Americans who have a heart attack every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But her younger age, healthy diet, exercise plan, and lack of smoking history seemed at odds with her heart attack. If anything, her health markers showed no signs of having poor cardiovascular health: older in age, maybe with a poor diet or an obesity diagnosis, maybe someone who smoked cigarettes all their life.
In February 2017, celebrity fitness trainer Bob Harper, known for coaching individuals through weight loss on NBCS The Biggest Loser, suffered a heart attack and went into cardiac arrest in a gym in Manhattan.
Heart Problems After Covid
For people who have had COVID-19, lingering COVID-19 heart problems can complicate their recovery.
Some of the symptoms common in coronavirus long-haulers, such as palpitations, dizziness, chest pain and shortness of breath, may be due to heart problems or, just from having been ill with COVID-19. How do you tell if your symptoms are heart-related, and what can you expect if they are?
Cardiologist Wendy Post, M.D., clarifies which post-coronavirus symptoms may point to a heart issue, when to call your doctor, and other facts all long-term COVID-19 survivors should know.
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Do Hormones Affect Your Risk Of A Heart Attack
Many women use prescription hormone drugs for birth control or for reducingsymptoms of menopause . Could thesedrugs jeopardize your heart health?
“Birth control pills can increase your risk of having a blood clot, eitherin the heart or in the legs, and they can also raise your blood pressure.So, if you have a history of high blood pressure or clotting problems,other types of contraception might be a better fit for you,” says Colliver.”But for most young women, it’s safe to take birth control medication.”
Colliver notes that women over the age of 50 are at an increased risk forheart disease and should completely avoid estrogen and progesterone drugs,if possible. “If your overall risk of heart attack is extremely low and youdesperately need relief from hot flashes and other postmenopausal symptoms,then hormone replacement therapy may be fine for you,” says Colliver. “Butafter the age of 65, we really try to avoid using them at all because theydo increase the risk of heart disease and potentially breast cancer.”
A Shock To The System
Hannah Wrigley was just 26 years old when she had a heart attack.
“My heart attack was completely unexpected. I was cleaning one Tuesday morning, and I started coughing rather dramatically. I suddenly collapsed to the ground with the worst imaginable burning in the centre of my chest and a crushing pain.” A few hours later Hannah experienced a heavy left arm and a persistent feeling of pressure in her chest as well as feeling intensely nauseated.
When an ambulance arrived, the ECG read ‘acute MI in progress’. Despite this, it was not until Hannah underwent an angiogram a number of hours later that doctors agreed about her diagnosis, simply due to her age and lack of risk factors. Delays in treatment, especially in young women whose MIs are not recognised, can significantly affect outcomes.
Hannah has since been found to have antiphospholipid syndrome, a tendency for her blood to clot more than usual. Before the heart attack Hannah was a strict vegan and not overweight but says she was an anxious, highly strung person. The heart attack has made her revaluate and reassess her priorities.
Heart Attacks In Young Adults Are Related To Unhealthy Lifestyles Not Just Family History
Sophia Antipolis, France 24 Aug 2021: Young heart attack victims are more likely to be smokers, obese, and have high blood pressure or diabetes compared to their peers, according to research presented at ESC Congress 2021.1 The study shows that while parental history of a premature heart attack is linked with heart events at a young age, it is not the only contributing factor.
The findings underline the importance of preventing smoking and overweight in children and adolescents in order to reduce the likelihood of heart disease later in life, said study author Professor Harm Wienbergen of the Bremen Institute for Heart and Circulation Research, Germany.
Understanding the reasons for heart attacks in young adults is important from a societal perspective due to their employment and family responsibilities, he continued. However, there are limited data on the predictors of heart events in this group.
The case-control study compared the clinical characteristics of consecutive patients admitted to hospital with acute myocardial infarction at 45 years of age or younger with randomly selected individuals from the general population in the same geographic region in Germany. Cases and controls were matched according to age and gender.
A total of 522 patients were enrolled from the Bremen STEMI registry and 1,191 matched controls were identified from the German National Cohort .
A Frequent Cause Of Heart Attacks In Young Women
If youre a thin, young, non-smoker who exercises regularly, what would you do if you experienced chest pain, nausea and extreme sweating?
No one is too young or too healthy to experience a heart attack. While women are more likely to suffer a heart attack after age 55, it can happen at any age.
One condition, spontaneous coronary artery dissection, , causes a small percentage of heart attacks overall, but is responsible for 40 percent of heart attacks in women younger than age 50, according to research from the American Heart Association . The average SCAD patient is just 42 years old.
What About Heart Problems In Children After Covid
In general, children who get sick with the coronavirus do not have serious problems as often as adults do. But a very rare complication of COVID-19 called multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C, can cause serious heart damage, cardiogenic shock or death.
Children who survive MIS-C can be left with abnormal heart rhythms and stiffened heart muscle that prevents the heart from relaxing normally and beating properly. MIS-C has some similar characteristics to Kawasaki disease.
Young Women And Heart Disease
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in women in the US, taking more lives than lung and breast cancer combined. It affects women of all ages including women who are below the age of forty. The risk of cardiovascular issues in young women is elevated when there is a history of heart problems in the family. Certain conditions such as familial hypercholesterolemia can lead to heart disease at an early age. This condition causes a buildup of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in the walls of arteries and can lead to heart attack. The risk may also be increased by as much as 20 percent in women who smoke while using oral contraception. Also, women with diabetes have almost double the risk of cardiovascular disease than those without. Coupled with the rise in obesity, these conditions can lead to an increased risk of premature death due to stroke, coronary artery disease, and hypertension.
- Heart disease statistics at a glance AHA Go Red for Women heart disease statistics. Includes general overall statistics on women, Hispanic women, and African-American women.
- Women and heart disease fact sheet CDC fact sheet on cardiovascular disease in women.
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Why Do Young People Have Heart Attacks
You might think of heart disease as only affecting people in middle age and later, but very rarely infants, children and younger adults can have heart attacks.
In adults in the United States, most heart attacks are caused by narrowing of arteries and blood clots related to the build-up of a fatty substance called plaque. In part, plaque is made up of dietary cholesterol, so coronary artery disease leading to a heart attack is a progressive condition – damage accumulates over time based upon a persons diet and exercise patterns. Children are too young to have accumulated much damage, so what accounts for rare heart attacks in the young?
Common causes of heart attacks in young people include Kawasaki disease, familial hypercholesterolemia and congenital heart defects. The cause of Kawasaki disease is not well understood by the medical community, but the condition is known to lead to inflammation of blood vessels throughout the body, including the coronary arteries that supply blood to the heart. Aneurysms can form in the coronary arteries and rupture, leading to heart attack-causing blood clots.
Familial hypercholesterolemia is a genetic condition that hinders the bodys ability to eliminate cholesterol from the bloodstream. Patients who inherit this condition may develop atherosclerosis much faster than people without the disorder, and can have heart attacks in their 20s, 30s and 40s.
World Heart Day : Rising Heart Attacks Among Young People And Ways To Prevent Them
Work-related stress and increased screen time also contribute significantly towards heart problems.
In the past, coronary artery disease was considered to be a disease of the elderly. In recent years, though, the occurrence of heart attacks is on the rise, especially in young adults who are under 40. In fact, according to research conducted in the United States, 20 percent of people who have a heart attack are 40 years old or younger a rate that has risen 2 percent a year for the last 10 years. It has also been seen that young patients with heart attacks are at a similar risk of dying as compared to their older counterparts.
What is the reason behind this surge in the incidence of heart attacks in the young?
Various factors have been attributed to this causation. Among the most prominent factors are the rising incidence of diabetes mellitus, hypertension and high cholesterol due to increasing obesity , increased consumption of processed foods and beverages and lack of physical activity. Work-related stress and increased screen time also contribute significantly towards heart problems.
Another factor responsible is smoking and consumption of narcotic substances such as cocaine and marijuana in the younger population. The consumption of these abusive substances causes a sudden constriction of coronary arteries, impeding the blood flow to the heart and resulting in a heart attack.
For more information, read our article on Heart Attack.
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Pursue An Active Lifestyle That Keeps You Ticking
Physical inactivity is one of the leading causes of heart disease. Adding cardio activities like running, rowing, cycling, and swimming to your workout plan will improve your cardiac health. Cardiovascular workouts keep your heart rate elevated, which improves blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. One Harvard study found people who run, swim laps, or do other cardio activities are 20 percent less likely to suffer from heart disease than those who dont.
Making lifestyle choices around any type of activity can help your heart. The Centers for Disease Control found that diabetes patients who walked just two hours a week were less likely to die of heart disease. Even if youre free of chronic conditions, more movement makes your heart stronger.
Make staying active a part of your 20s by fitting in an activity however you can. If possible, try requesting a standing desk at work. Fit in a walk or run after dinner. Try your hand at a new sport with a Portland city rec league. Strive for 150 minutes of aerobic exercise and two days of strength training a week. Remember, even adding small changes in movement counts.
What If Youre At Risk
Heart attacks can happen to anyone but the risk isespecially high when genetics come into play. Primordial and primary preventionis crucial for those with a family history of heart disease.
Your hereditary risk of heart disease is defined by having afirst-degree male relative under the age of55 with heart attack or stroke history, or a first-degree female relative under the age of 65 with heart attack orstroke history.
When were talking about young people having heart attacks,its important to individualize the discussion based on risk factors, says Dr.Laffin. Its about having an honest conversation and not pushing things offand saying Oh, Im too young, especially if you have symptoms.
Guidelines recommend that people ages 20 to 39 withouthereditary risk have their cardiovascular health assessed every four to six years.
For those that have a genetic risk, its critical to beengaged in your health and speak with your doctor early.
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