A Look at Heart Attacks in Younger Adults

If you think heart attacks only happen to the elderly, think again. Young adults can and do have heart attacks every day. For young adults, being aware that a heart attack can happen to them is an important part of ensuring they get the heart hospital care they need. Here are the facts young people need to know about their heart attack risk.

Heart Attacks and Age

Typically, the risk of heart attack increases for men after age 45 and after menopause for women – usually around age 55. However, heart hospital doctors are seeing more patients in their 20s and 30s with both heart disease and heart attacks. Because young people often underestimate their chances of having a heart attack, they may delay seeking care, leading to more damage to their hearts that can cause future complications and even loss of life. About 25 men and 10 women per 1,000 between the ages of 35 and 44 have a heart attack or fatal coronary heart disease, according to the American Heart Association.

Increased Risk Factors

The reason young people are increasingly vulnerable to heart attacks is that they are experiencing increased risk factors at a younger age. Obesity and weight-related conditions like high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes dramatically boost the risk of having a heart attack. Doctors are seeing these health problems, as well as high cholesterol, in people at a younger age, which helps to explain why heart attacks are happening in this group.

Cutting Heart Attack Risks

To reduce their chances of having a heart attack, young adults can discuss their risk factors with their doctors and develop strategies for controlling them. Weight loss, increasing physical activity, quitting smoking, and carefully managing chronic medical conditions can all help. Young adults can also ask their doctors about heart attack symptoms so they can recognize them and seek treatment quickly when they occur.

At Riverside Community Hospital, our Chest Pain Center delivers fast and accurate diagnoses for the best patient care. Let our heart hospital in Riverside help you take control of your health today. Call (951) 788-3463 and request a referral to one of our heart hospital specialists.

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