Heart Attacks Don’t Have an Age Preference

Heart health is not something that typically becomes a hot topic of discussion until we reach a certain age. You know, the age when our wrinkles become impossible to ignore and out stamina just isn’t what it used to be. According to statistics, there are just as many reasons to be mindful about heart health during the twenties and thirties as there are in mid-life.

Overall, heart attack statistics have dropped in the U.S. However, among twenty- and thirty-somethings, heart attacks are on the rise. Between 2006 and 2016, heart attack survivors under the age of 40 increased 2% each year. In a recent study, researchers discovered that approximately 20% of heart attacks that occurred in people under the age of 50 actually occurred in the under-40 age group. Historically, it was quite uncommon to see heart attacks in such young patients. The fact that we are seeing this increase means we need to pay closer attention.

Most Heart Attacks Can Be Avoided

Authors of the study in which heart attacks were found in younger patients discuss the value of awareness. These doctors stress that most heart attacks affect people who have an underling risk. The underlying risks identified in heart attack patients are almost all avoidable. Heart attacks rarely happen out of the blue. They happen when risk factors exist. The problem is that these risk factors may not be known or appreciated.

What is the primary risk factor for heart attack? Smoking.

Across all age groups affected by heart attack, especially the 41-50 and under 40 age group, researchers identified smoking as the leading risk factor. During this study, half of the people who had heart attacks smoked. Tobacco use may be declining among younger people, but this has largely been replaced by the e-cigarette trend. The common belief is that these products are benign. They’re not.

Additional factors determined to contribute to premature heart attack include:

  • Family history of early heart attack
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes and pre-diabetes
  • Drug use, including cocaine and opioids

Early Intervention Helps

Heart health is a matter that is within our control in most cases. Speak with your doctor about your risk factors and how lifestyle habits may affect your heart. For advanced screenings and treatment options, we’re here for you. To schedule a visit in our Lake Success, Forest Hills, or Richmond Hill office, call 516-437-5600.

Posted in: Cardiac Arrest

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