Increasing numbers of young people affected by heart attacks

Credit: iStock

A recent study has suggested that heart attacks are increasingly common for young adults in the United States.  What is more they are just as dangerous for people who are older in age. 

People younger than 40 are becoming increasingly affected

A study carried pout in May last year by a team from the University of Lille revealed that the average number of cardiac arrests in France is roughly 46,000.  There appears to be less cases than before particularly due to the use of medicines like statins and less people smoking.  This is similar situation in the Unoited States as the number of people suffering from heart attacks is decreasing.  However unusually it seems that there is an increasing number of young adult between the age of 20 and 30 suffering from heart attacks than before.

Before it was extremely rare to see people under the age of 40 having a heart attack – however some of these people are now between 20 and 30 years old,” explains Ron Blankstein a cardiologist from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.  He is the principle author of this study which was presented during the 68th annual reunion of the American College of Cardiology.  “According to what we have remarked, it seems that we are evolving in a bad way.”

As many “post-attack” risks

Ron Blankstein and his team analysed data from approximately 2,100 heart attack patients aged 50 and under, admitted to his hospital between 2000 and 2016 to get these results. Overall, approximately 1 in 5 (20%) patients were 40 years old or younger. By contrast, the proportion of affected patients aged 40 and under seems to have increased by about 2% per year. Albeit a small rise, it is regular all the same.

In addition, the risk factors were the same, regardless of age group.  The heart attack patients all had a diabetes, hypertension, smoking and family history of heart attack. Young patients also had as much post-attack risk as those over 50 years old. “Even if you’re between the ages of 20 and 30, once you have had a heart attack, you risk more cardiovascular events,” says the doctor. You run the same risk as someone older than you.”

The number of heart attacks among young adults is constantly increasing. Credits: iStock

Is addiction a risk factor?

The causes of this apparent increase in the number of heart attacks among younger age groups are not yet fully understood. It is interesting to note that the under 40s were more likely to use marijuana and cocaine. As a result addiction problems may play a role, but more research is needed to confirm this. It is also important to keep in mind that this data comes from only one hospital in the United States.

If we assume that all age groups could be affected, prevention councils must concern everyone. “Many people think that a heart attack is likely to happen to them, the doctor notes, but the vast majority could be prevented by earlier detection of the disease, drastic changes in lifestyle and management of other risk factors.”


Related articles:

Doing 40 continuous press ups is a sign of a good heart

5 unusual external signs that could mean your heart is having trouble

What happens in your body when your heart is broken