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Heart attacks rising among young women, study shows



When analyzed over five-year intervals, the proportion of heart attack-related hospital admissions in the United States attributed to young patients aged 35 to 54 steadily climbed from 27% in 1995-99 to 32% in 2010- According to the study published recently in the Journal Circulation,

during these periods, there was an increase in these admissions from 21% to 31% among Young women, compared with 30% to 33% among young men, the study showed.

"The takeaway message is that an increasing percentage of heart attacks is occurring among younger patients, even though our population is aging, and the largest increase "said Melissa Caughey, senior author of the study and a research instructor at the Division of Cardiology at the University of North Carolina's School of Medicine at Chapel Hill.
Globally, 85% of all cardiovascular disease-related deaths are due to heart attacks and strokes, according to the World Health Organization.

Heart attack risk factors

The new study involved data on 28,732 hospitalizations for heart attack in patients 35 to 74 between 1

995 and 2014.

The data came from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study, or ARIC, and hospitalizations were in four communities: Forsyth County, North Carolina; Washington County, Maryland; Jackson, Mississippi; and eight northwest suburbs of Minneapolis.

Within the group, the annual incidence of heart attack hospitalizations decreased among young men between 1995 and 2014, according to the researchers at the age of 35 to 54, who made up 30% of hospitalizations.

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"When we looked at the incidence – meaning the number of patients who had a heart attack each year, divided by the total population of patients in the group – we saw that there was actually a decrease in incidence among young men, and that sort of paralleled with what we see in older populations, but we saw a slight increase for young women, "Caughey said.

" That was surprising, because it goes against the other trends in other demographic groups, "she said. "There have been previous studies from the same ARIC surveillance that have shown a decline, and they were mostly older population or older patients … National trends also show the same thing, that there is a decrease in the incidence of heart attack "

Compared with young men in the study, the young women were more likely to have medical insurance and a history of hypertension, diabetes, chronic kidney disease and stroke, the researchers found. The young women were also more likely to be black and less likely to be smokers.

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The study, which was published online in November, had some limitations, including that it included data from only four communities. More research is needed to determine whether similar trends would emerge nationwide.
"The initial thing I thought when I saw the high rate of diabetes in women was," he said. , 'what about obesity?' And the study did not have information on whether or not these women were obese, "said Dr. Nieta Goldberg, cardiologist and medical director of the Joan H. Tisch Center for Women's Health at NYU Langone Health in New York.
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Such risk factors – including type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure – may Goldberg added: "It is very complicated. Are the risk factors and symptoms recognized by Are the patients, although they have insurance, taking time out to make a appointment? Was it difficult to get a appointment so they just gave up? " Goldberg asked.

"It's possible, but look at some other behaviors in this age group. People are working and spending more time than in the past at their desks and they are not physically active. Lack of physical activity is also a risk factor. , "she said. "Lack of sleep and increased stress increases blood pressure, this is also a risk factor."

Women's unusual heart symptoms

The study findings are "particularly striking because the population is aging, and yet we 're seeing that a higher proportion of heart attack patients are young patients,' said Dr. Harmony Reynolds, co-leader of the Sarah Ross Soter Center for Women's Cardiovascular Research and associate professor of medicine at the NYU School of Medicine in New York.

"We are particularly seeing this," said Reynolds, who was not involved in the study.

"We are particularly seeing that [increase] among young women and especially young African-American women, "Reynolds added.

Additionally, women were less likely to receive certain types of therapies, such as drugs that lower cholesterol and prevent clotting. However, despite previous research finding higher mortality rates among women who had a heart attack, the risk of death from any cause after a year was comparable for women versus men.

Reynolds said many people are not aware of their risk factors for heart attack and they should be proactive about talking to their doctors about how to reduce their risk. She added that the heart attacks can look different in women, who have more likely to have unpleasant symptoms such as a sore throat or sweating.

Another study, published last year in the journal Circulation, found that among adults 55 and younger women were more likely than men to experience lesser-known acute heart attack symptoms in addition to pain in the chest – and more than half of doctors seeing women who seek the care of these symptoms did not realize that symptoms are heart-related .
Some of these heart attack symptoms can also include shortness of breath; lightheadedness; or feeling pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach, according to the American Heart Association.

"Some people expect that heart attack will feel like it looks in the movies like people are going to clutch their chest and lie down on the floor and feel horrible – and for some people, it's much more subtle than that, "Reynolds said. "I saw someone last week who felt a heart attack in her two front teeth."


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