Younger Americans falling victims to heart attacks: researchers warn

Younger Americans falling victims to heart attacks

Younger Americans are falling victims to the potentially deadly disease of hearth attacks and many of them suffer because they simply ignore the risk factors, a new study conducted by the Cleveland Clinic researchers warned.

The study revealed that the number of heart attack patients has been steadily increasing in the United States since 1995, and people are falling victims to the disease at a younger age. They estimated that the average age of hearth attack patients has slipped from 64 years to 60 years within the past couple of decades.

The researchers also found many would be sufferers were aware of risk factors for hear attacks but they simply ignored them. The prevalence of obesity, which is one of the main causes of heart disease, has jumped among patients from 31 per cent to 40 per cent.

Lead researcher Dr. Samir Kapadia said, “Very amazingly, what we found was the patients presenting with ST-elevation myocardial infarction were getting younger. Prevention must be kept in the forefront of primary care. Cardiac health is not just dependent on the cardiologist. The primary care physicians and the patient need to take ownership of this problem.”

The study suggested that all the attention to preventive cardiology & healthy lifestyle advice does not apparently helping to push ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) later in life to sicker patients.

The alarming findings of the study were presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 65th Annual Scientific Session.

As per the research paper published by the study team, the new study analyzed heart disease risk factors among more than 3,900 patients who were treated for ST-elevation myocardial infarction, or STEMI--the most severe and deadly type of heart attack--at Cleveland Clinic between 1995 and 2014.

A STEMI heart attack results when one of the heart's main arteries becomes completely blocked by plaque, stopping the flow of blood. Immediate medical attention can increase the chances of survival, but STEMI carries a high risk of death and disability.

Many factors are known to increase a person's heart attack risk. While some, such as age and family history, are beyond the individual's control, many risk factors can be reduced through lifestyle choices, such as exercising more, quitting smoking and adopting a heart-healthy diet.

A report published in the CBS News said, "This type of heart attack occurs when the coronary artery is completely blocked and a large part of the heart muscle is unable to receive blood. Though immediate medical assistance can increase the chance of survival, STEMI heart attacks come with a high risk of death and disability."

Specifically, the results showed the average age of STEMI patients decreased from 64 years old to just 60 between the first five-year span of the study and the last five-year span. The prevalence of obesity also increased over this time period, from 31 percent to 40 percent, as did the proportion of patients with diabetes (from 24 to 31 percent), high blood pressure (from 55 to 77 percent), and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (from 5 to 12 percent).

In a report published by the Business-Standard, "Patients suffering the most severe type of heart attack have become younger, obese and more likely to have preventable risk factors such as smoking, high blood pressure and diabetes, researchers including one of Indian-origin have found. The study analysed heart disease risk factors among more than 3,900 patients who were treated for ST-elevation myocardial infarction, or ST segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) - the most severe and deadly type of heart attack - at Cleveland Clinic in the US between 1995 and 2014."

A STEMI heart attack results when one of the heart's main arteries becomes completely blocked by plaque, stopping the flow of blood. Immediate medical attention can increase the chances of survival, but STEMI carries a high risk of death and disability. Many factors are known to increase a person's heart attack risk. While some, such as age and family history, are beyond the individual's control, many risk factors can be reduced through lifestyle choices, such as exercising more, quitting smoking and adopting a heart-healthy diet, researchers said.

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