Heart attacks are becoming increasingly common in younger people, with statistics showing a rise in the occurrence of heart disease and related complications among those under the age of 50. According to recent studies, there has been an alarming increase in the number of heart attacks affecting younger people over the past few years. This trend is particularly worrying as traditionally, heart disease has been associated with older age groups.
There are several reasons behind this worrying trend. Rising levels of obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure among young adults have contributed to the surge in heart disease cases. A sedentary lifestyle that involves little or no exercise is also a major contributor to poor cardiovascular health. In addition, high levels of stress and anxiety can lead to an increased risk of heart attack.
It is important for everyone, regardless of age, to take steps towards maintaining good cardiovascular health.
Top cardiologist Dr. Kapadia, of the Cleveland Clinic, is recommending that people take stronger preventative measures to avoid heart attacks. “Don’t wait until you have a diagnosed heart problem to start taking care of yourself and paying attention to your lifestyle and dietary choices. You should be working hard to avoid developing heart disease in the first place,” he says.
This caution arrives in the wake of new findings from a study led by Kapadia, revealing that serious heart events are now affecting younger and more obese people. Researchers set out to examine risk factors for heart disease in patients treated for STEMI – ST-elevation myocardial infarction – the most deadly form of heart attack.
Among the 3,900 STEMI patients selected for the study, which took place between 1995 and 2014, the average age fell from 64 to 60. Many suffered other heart-related ailments. In that same period, obesity in those patients rose from 31% to 40%, high blood pressure from 55% to 77%, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease from 5% to 12% and diabetes from 24% to 31%.
Moreover, patients who suffered from three or more of these additional major risk factors increased from 65% to 85%.
Preventing Heart Attacks
While there are certain health factors that a person cannot change – age, family history – there are still plenty of ways that these major risks can be reduced. Patients need to take a more proactive role in their heart health earlier on in life. “On the whole, the medical community has done an outstanding job of improving treatments for heart disease,” says Kapadia, “but this study shows that we have to do better on the prevention side. When people come for routine checkups, it is critical to stress the importance of reducing risk factors through weight reduction, eating a healthy diet and being physically active.”
Heart attacks kill around 735,000 Americans every year. According to the CDC, that’s one person every 43 seconds.
Heart attacks are a leading cause of death worldwide. The good news is that they can often be prevented through lifestyle changes and proper medical care. By taking steps to reduce risk factors for heart disease, individuals can significantly decrease their chances of experiencing a heart attack.
One important way to prevent heart attacks is by maintaining a healthy diet. This means consuming plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats while limiting processed foods, sugary drinks, and saturated fats. Regular exercise is also crucial for heart health as it helps improve circulation and strengthens the cardiovascular system.
Other ways to prevent heart attacks include not smoking or using tobacco products, managing stress levels through relaxation techniques such as meditation or yoga, maintaining a healthy weight, and getting enough sleep each night.