Heart attack victims are getting younger

Heart attack victims are getting younger

The average age of people suffering the most severe form of heart attack is getting younger – a worrisome finding in a new study presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 65th Annual Scientific Session.

The study, which looked at nearly 4,000 Cleveland Clinic patients from 1995 to 2014, found that the average age of those treated for ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) had dropped from 64 to 60.

A STEMI is the deadliest form of heart attack and occurs when one of the heart’s primary arteries becomes completely blocked by plaque.

The researchers also found significant increases in rates of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) among the patients studied. The number of patients who had three or more of these risk factors for heart disease grew from 65 to 85 percent, the study found.

“On the whole, the medical community has done an outstanding job of improving treatments for heart disease, but this study shows that we have to do better on the prevention side,” said Dr. Samir Kapadia, the study’s lead researcher, in a press release. “Prevention must be kept in the forefront of primary care.”

“It’s not an old man’s disease anymore,” says Dr. Siddharth Gandhi, an interventional cardiologist with Advocate Heart Institute at BroMenn Medical Center in Normal, Ill. “Heart disease affects men and women and now, unfortunately, at younger ages.”

Dr. Gandhi has seen this trend play out in his office.

“I’ve done interventions for people as young as 28,” Gandhi says. “Heart disease in young adults has become a significant concern.”

The study noted that many of the risk factors that lead to heart attacks can be reduced or reversed through lifestyle changes like a healthier diet, smoking cessation and increased exercise.

“When patients develop a healthier, more active lifestyle, that helps,” Gandhi said. “Heart disease is not a death sentence.”


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  1. I think that rate correlates directly with the use of GMO’s. Our body doesn’t recognize the changed dna, so hunger is not suppressed, so we eat more.

  2. Quite frankly when I was in the hospital over the three weeks from stress test to going home with a triple bypass. It was NOT old or fat people in the beds and wards around me.
    I ate right, but I love chocolate, my omega 3 fats in my diet were non existant, what fats I did eat were minimal because I can’t tolerate fats.
    I sat more that three hours a day , but I walked my dog at least two to three times a day, for at least 15 to 20 minutes often for half hour a day,
    I lived in a high stress situation with a move becoming almost impossible to make decisions because there were so MANY choices to make as to where I was going for groceries, to whether to go to the docs or the hospital for other conditions because those amenities were at least 30 minutes away in any of four directions, throw in not wanting to frustrate the other half for nothing, or whether the weather would allow a safe drive to those amenities, Lets throw in a lack of friends in my new communities, and did you notice the major stress factors?
    Lets get rid of portable phones, put pcs back at the library instead of at home, and lets make sure every community within a cachment area of 20 miles of a 800population hamlet has a doctor or a diagnostic nurse (sorry proper name escapes me)
    and for Gods sake lets heat the bloody side walks and roads to reduce the chance of falls in our cold snowy icy winters! Lets BAN antibiotics unless someone is on deaths doorstep.

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.