In a new study, researchers found heart attacks are steadily rising in adults younger than 40 in the U.S.
The research was conducted by researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
Previous studies have shown that there are fewer heart attacks in the U.S. now, largely due to the use of cholesterol-lowering drug statins and reducing smoking.
In addition, it is rare to see people who are in their 20s or 30s to have a heart attack.
In the current study, the team examined compare young adult (41-50 years old) and a very young adult (40 or younger) heart attack survivors.
They tested a total of 2,097 young patients (<50 years) admitted for a heart attack in two large hospitals.
They found about 20% of these heart attack survivors were 40 or younger.
Moreover, from 2000 to 2016, the ratio of very young people having a heart attack raised by 2% each year for the last 10 years.
The findings suggest that the current heart attack development trend is very worrying.
Young people who have a heart attack in their 20s or 30s will have higher risks for other cardiovascular events just like older people.
The researchers also tried to find possible risk factors behind the increase in heart attacks in younger adults.
They found common risk factors like high blood pressure, diabetes, family history of heart disease, and smoking play a role. But drug abuse, including marijuana and cocaine, seems to be a new risk factor in this group.
The team suggests that it is very important to prevent heart disease at a young age before the condition starts.
People at higher risk should change their lifestyle habits and use other medical interventions as early as possible.
They suggest people avoid tobacco, eat a heart-healthy diet, get regular exercise, have healthy body weight, control blood pressure and cholesterol, and stay away from cocaine and marijuana.
In addition, diabetes is a big risk factor for heart disease and should be managed well. Currently, new diabetes drugs are being tested in clinical experiments.
They may help reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke.
The senior author of the study is Ron Blankstein, MD, a preventive cardiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, associate professor at Harvard Medical School.
The study was presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 68th Annual Scientific Session.
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