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Why Do Young People Have Heart Attacks

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Why Are More Young People Having Heart Attacks

The rates of heart attacks are declining overall in the U.S. but not among all groups of Americans. According to a new study, heart attack rates are increasing in what may seem like an unlikely group: adults in their 20s and 30s.

What’s more, despite their relatively young age, 20- and 30-somethings have the same rate of bad outcomes after a heart attack including death as those who are about 10 years older, the study found.

“It used to be incredibly rare to see anyone under age 40 come in with a heart attack and some of these people are now in their 20s and early 30s,” senior study author Dr. Ron Blankstein, a preventive cardiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, said in a statement. “Based on what we are seeing, it seems that we are moving in the wrong direction.”

The study will be presented March 17 at the American College of Cardiology’s annual scientific sessions meeting in New Orleans, and the findings have not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal

In the study, researchers looked at data from about 2,100 heart attack patients age 50 and younger who were admitted to one of two large hospitals between 2000 and 2016.

Overall, about 1 in 5 patients, or 20 percent, were 40 or younger. But for the last 10 years of the study, the proportion of patients 40 and younger increased by about 2 percent each year, the researchers said.

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Lower Your Risk Of A Heart Attack By Knowing Your Health Numbers

While you cant change risk factors such as age, gender, race and family history, you can modify the behaviors and conditions that increase your risk for cardiovascular disease.

  • Cholesterol: There are several measures of cholesterol, and all are important in determining cardiovascular risk. Your high density lipoprotein cholesterol should be greater than 50 mg/dl low density lipoprotein cholesterol should be less than 100 mg/dl and triglycerides should be less than 150 mg/dl. . Achieving a lower LDL cholesterol is beneficial for patients who have an elevated risk of high cholesterol, or have coronary heart disease.
  • Blood pressure: Your blood pressure should ideally be about 120 over 80 mm Hg, or lower. You should have your blood pressure checked at least once a year. Those who have already been diagnosed with high blood pressure should check their blood pressure more frequently.
  • Body Mass Index: Body Mass Index, or BMI, is a measure of the relationship between your height and weight. If your weight is too much for your height, you may have excess body fat, which can cause high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. Your BMI should be between 18.5 and 24.0.

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Heart Disease Is Preventable If Detected Early

Assoc Prof Jepson is reassuring that if heart disease is detected early, a heart attack can be avoidable. The key is awareness and prevention, he says.

Having these tests early means heart disease will be flagged, Associate Professor Jepson says.

We can prevent coronary heart disease. Its not an inevitable consequence of aging. We can lower the risk as long as we identify and act on the signals early enough.

Lack Of Oxygen In The Blood

Why are so many young people having heart attacks?

If levels of oxygen in the blood decrease due to carbon monoxide poisoning or a loss of normal lung function, the heart will receive un-oxygenated blood.

This will result in the heart muscles being damaged, triggering a heart attack.

Page last reviewed: 28 November 2019 Next review due: 28 November 2022

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Heart Attack After Covid

Studies have suggested that COVID-19 can cause damage to the heart muscle and affect heart function. Experts have suggested several reasons for this including the high levels of inflammation circulating in the body. The effect on the heart can be more severe in people having pre-existing heart disease. So, consult a doctor if you feel any warning signs even after recovering from COVID.

Symptoms Of Heart Attack

Below listed are the symptoms associated with a heart attack:

  • Pain or building up pressure in your chest or arms, tightness, or a squeezing or hurting sensation that may move to your neck, jaw, or back.
  • Nausea, indigestion, heartburn, or abdominal pain
  • Breathing problems
  • Sudden dizziness or lightheadedness

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Primordial Prevention: How Early Is Early Enough

Heart experts always thought about primary and secondary prevention when it comes to heart attacks, Dr. Laffin says. Thats trying to prevent the first heart attack and then trying to prevent the second heart attack.

But recently, theres been a shift to the idea of primordial prevention. This means trying to prevent the progression of the heart attack risk factors themselves. Dr. Laffin says it includes trying to change the social and environmental conditions that could develop and progress risk factors. These are things we have control over such as exercising, eating nutritious foods, not smoking, managing stress and blood pressure.

Primordial prevention also includes education about whatbehaviors put you at risk for cardiovascular disease. These include:

  • Obesity
  • Poor diet and lack of exercise.
  • Type 2 diabetes.
  • Family history of cardiovascular disease.

Who Should Get A Heart Health Check

Healthy@UH Podcast – Why Heart Attacks Are on the Rise in Younger People

A heart health check is the best way of detecting heart disease early, even if you have no symptoms. Whether youre younger or older, get a check. Dont wait for symptoms, Associate Professor Jepson says.

Even if you live a healthy lifestyle and feel fine, you can have underlying heart disease, he says.

If youre over 45, or over 35 if youre of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent, book a heart health check with your GP. The check is free at clinics that bulk bill for this service.

Its especially important to get your heart checked out if you have a family history of heart disease or high blood pressure.

A heart health check will help your GP determine your risk of having a heart attack or stroke in the next five years and help you take action to reduce your risk.

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How Is A Heart Attack Diagnosed

A heart attack can be diagnosed through certain health tests which include:

  • Imaging tests like Echocardiograms and CT- CAG is advised
  • Electrocardiography, a test that measures electrical activity in the heart
  • Blood tests for heart attack can confirm that a heart attack has occurred. A test that measures cardiac troponin helps to know if heart damage has occurred.
  • Confirmation is by Coronary Angio-Gram

How Does A Heart Attack Feel

Having a heart attack is a scary experience. But many people have survived Heart Attacks and are leading a normal life, thanks to effective and timely treatment. Prevention is better than cure, and understanding the risk factors and avoiding them is important to prevent heart attack as well as reduce the complications.

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The Prevention Of Heart And Vascular Disease Program

The Prevention of Heart and Vascular Disease Program at Brigham Healths Heart & Vascular Center is a world leader in treating high cholesterol and other risk factors that contribute to the development of heart and vascular disease. To make an appointment, please request an appointment online or call 307-4000.

Ron Blankstein, MD, is a preventative cardiology specialist and Associate Director of the Cardiovascular Imaging Program at Brigham Health.

While Most Heart Attacks Do Affect People With Usual Risk Factors Such As A Sedentary Lifestyle Diabetes And Obesity Experts Warn That Even Those Who Lead A Virtuous Life Can Suffer From One As Well

Why Healthy Young People Have Heart Attacks

New Delhi: The untimely demise of Bollywood legendary actor Sridevi on Saturday night in Dubai following a sudden cardiac arrest has not only shocked the entire nation but also raised serious health concerns. The iconic actor, who was also a dancer all her life, was fit and healthy. She frequently posted pictures of her workouts. She exuded elegance in her appearances – her photos and videos of the function that were now being shared on social media as her last were the proof. Also, as per her friends accounts, the diva, who redefined grace and beauty in Hindi cinema, led a healthy lifestyle. Her brother-in-law Sanjay Kapoor also confirmed that the actress had no past history of heart problems.

Although we dont really know what the cause of her death was, the doctors in the UAE said she had suffered a cardiac arrest. Sridevi was in Dubai, along with husband Boney Kapoor and younger daughter Khushi, to attend the marriage function of Boney Kapoor’s nephew Mohit Marwah. The medical team had failed to revive her after the actor had collapsed in her hotel room in Dubai on Saturday evening. She was declared dead when she was taken to the hospital. Read: Actor Sridevi dies of cardiac arrest in Dubai here’s all you need to know about this fatal malady

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Younger Guys Are Smokingand Vapingmore

Sure, overall smoking rates have fallen, especially among the over-65 crowd, who have finally gotten around to kicking the habit. But among 25- to 44-year-olds, there are still a whole lot of smokerstwice as many as in the older demographicand they have the cardiovascular health to show for it.

It takes only one cigarette a day to boost a mans risk of coronary artery disease by nearly 50 percent, according to a recent BMJ study. And people who think they can avoid that risk by vaping or Juuling are fooling themselves. E-cig users push their heart-disease risk 40 percent higher than that of nonusers stroke risk jumps 71 percent.

Heart Attacks Are On The Rise In Patients Aged 20

Not long ago, heart attacks were primarily a problem faced by older adults. It was rare for anyone younger than 40 to have a heart attack. Now 1 in 5 heart attack patients are younger than 40 years of age.

Heres another troubling fact to highlight the problem: Having a heart attack in your 20s or early 30s is more common. Between the years 2000-2016, the heart attack rate increased by 2% every year in this young age group.

Your outlook isnt better following a heart attack just because youre younger. Patients who have a heart attack in their 20s or 30s face the same risks as older patients. Once you have that first heart attack, you have the same chance of dying from a second major heart event or a stroke regardless of your age.

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Head Start To Heart Disease

To study the origins of atherosclerosis, scientists from 15 medical centers formed the Pathobiological Determinants of Atherosclerosis in Youth research group. Over a 7-year period, they investigated cardiovascular risk factors and atherosclerosis in 2,876 people between the ages of 15 and 34 about three-quarters were male. All were victims of accidents, homicides, or suicides who had been autopsied shortly after death. The researchers looked for evidence of atherosclerosis, reviewed the victims’ medical records, and analyzed blood specimens to measure cholesterol levels and detect thiocyanate, a chemical indicator of smoking.

The results were striking, particularly for the male subjects. Fatty streaks of atherosclerosis were identified in coronary arteries as early as age 15 and became progressively more prevalent over the 20-year age span covered by the study. In all, about 2% of the youngest males and 8% of the oldest had evidence of coronary artery disease. As expected, subjects who’d had the highest LDL cholesterol levels, lowest HDL cholesterol levels, highest blood pressures, and highest blood sugars had the most disease. Even in these adolescents and young adults, smoking and obesity also increased the risk of atherosclerosis.

Most Indians Lack Basic Nutrition Education

What causes young people to have heart attacks? | Dr. Shriram Nene

A combination of risk factorsage, gender, ethnicity, genetics, smoking habits, diet, lack of physical activity, cholesterol level, high blood pressure, diabetes, and depressionare responsible for cardiovascular diseases. Some of these risk factors are not in our control, but what we eat, how much we exercise, how our mental health is are modifiable risk factors with the right choice of lifestyle.

The Indian diet is cereal-based, includes more carbohydrates, has less protein, and lacks essential micronutrients. The intake of white foodsrefined flour, white sugar, salt, and potatohas increased manifold in recent years, making Indians more vulnerable to serious metabolic syndromes such as type 2 diabetes, CVDs, obesity, and hypertension. As a result of the global nutrition transition, young Indians are now hooked to ultra-processed foodsinstant noodles, chips, pizza, burgers, fried chicken, pastry, cake, chocolate. Junk foods are cheap across the globe, but the real cost of eating junk foods is not communicated to the general population. Food labels do not provide nutritional information or warnings. A nutritional score for packaged Indian foods has not yet been developed.

Also read: This one simple lifestyle change could help prevent diabetes and other diseases, study shows

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Smoking & Alcohol Consumption

The unhealthy lifestyle followed by young adults is one main reason for cardiovascular diseases in the early 20-30s. Junk food, lack of physical exercise, alcohol consumption, and smoking trigger the risk of a heart attack.

The chemicals present in cigarettes & alcohol damages the blood vessels and impacts the amount of oxygen in the blood, resulting in faster heartbeats & putting your heart in danger.

These are a few are causes behind the increasing cases of cardiovascular diseases in young adults. People in their early 20-30s are ignorant of their lifestyle, bringing them to the radar of different diseases.

Understanding how a healthy diet and lifestyle can help you live a healthy and happier life is important. Regular exercise & physical activities, following a nutritious diet, keeping an eye on your cholesterol, blood pressure, keeping a healthy weight, a regular check-up can help you stay healthy and safe.

Dont forget a healthy heart is the key to happiness in life!

What Can You Do To Prevent Or Reduce Your Risk Of Heart Disease And Heart Attack

A heart attack can occur at any age, but youre never too young to start a heart-healthy lifestyle. All strokes and heart attacks are potentially preventable. Heart attack prevention should begin early in life – such as assessing your risk factors, identifying and treating the root causes of cardiovascular disease. There is nothing one can do about family history, but other risk factors can be controlled. Reducing your risk starts with smart choices and commitment to leading a heart-healthy lifestyle. They include:

  • Eating a heart-healthy balanced diet consisting of plenty of fruit and vegetables, mainly focussing on fibre to help lower your risk of heart disease.
  • Avoiding junk and other processed foods that are loaded with unhealthy fats, salt and sugar, all of which can lead to obesity – one major factor behind heart disease.
  • Quitting smoking or avoiding binge drinking to reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • Controlling your weight by staying physically active – an active lifestyle has been shown to be helpful in preventing a heart attack.
  • Getting regular health checkups to detect any possible underlying risk factors.
  • Managing your risk factors – high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes, etc.

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What Causes Heart Disease In Young Adults

In older men, nearly all heart attacks are caused by atherosclerotic blockages in coronary arteries. Conventional coronary artery disease also predominates in young adults, accounting for about 80% of heart attacks. About 60% of these young patients have disease of just one coronary artery, while older patients are more likely to have disease in two or three arteries.

Because CAD is the most important cause of early heart attacks, it deserves the most attention. But the other causes should also be considered. In broad numbers, about 4% of heart attacks in young adults are triggered by inborn abnormalities of the coronary artery anatomy. Five percent can be attributed to blood clots that originate elsewhere and are carried in the bloodstream to otherwise normal coronary arteries, where they block the artery. And in another 5%, various disorders of the blood clotting system increase the risk of clot formation throughout the circulatory system, including in coronary arteries.

A wide range of problems account for the remaining 6% of heart attacks in young adults. They include spasm or inflammation of the coronary arteries, radiation therapy for chest tumors, chest trauma, and abuse of cocaine, amphetamines, or other drugs.

Each of these problems is tragic in its own right. But because it’s both common and preventable, atherosclerosis is the greatest tragedy of all.

How Common Is Heart Attack In Young Adults Is There A Need To Worry

Reasons Why More Young People Are Suffering From Heart Disease.

Most people are under the impression that heart attacks only occur in people who are older. This is a misconception. Acute heart events also occur among young people – specifically those under the age of 50. Understandably, when such events occur, a sense of panic occurs.

This is called catastrophic thinking, a topic I had written about earlier. The solution to catastrophic thinking is to examine all the background facts before jumping into a conclusion.

This article is written to examine the facts around young onset heart attacks, with special focus on how commonly they occur. Links are included to my prior articles on related topics including CPR, treadmill test and heart-healthy diet. A summary is provided at the end.

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