Monday May 27, 2019

Heart Strokes No More Disease of Just Elders, Now As Likely Among Young Adults

While the traditional risk factors include diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking, family history of premature heart attack and high cholesterol, substance abuse, including marijuana and cocaine were more the reason behind the increased heart attacks in younger patients.

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The study compared people aged 41-50 years and 40 or younger heart attack survivors and found that among patients who suffer a heart attack at a young age overall is 40 or younger. VOA

A heart attack, known earlier as a disease of the old, is now strikingly common in people aged 40 and below, finds a study.

The study compared people aged 41-50 years and 40 or younger heart attack survivors and found that among patients who suffer a heart attack at a young age overall is 40 or younger.

In addition, the proportion of people below 40 having a heart attack has been increasing, rising by 2 per cent each year for the last 10 years.

“It used to be incredibly rare to see anyone under age 40 come in with a heart attack and some of these people are now in their 20s and early 30s,” said Ron Blankstein, Associate Professor at Harvard University.

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Good habits like avoiding tobacco, regular exercise, heart healthy diet, weight loss if required, managing blood pressure and cholesterol, controlling diabetes if required, and staying away from substance abuse need to be maintained for a good heart. pixabay

Importantly, youngest heart attack survivors have the same likelihood of dying from another heart attack or stroke as survivors over 10 years older.

While the traditional risk factors include diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking, family history of premature heart attack and high cholesterol, substance abuse, including marijuana and cocaine were more the reason behind the increased heart attacks in younger patients.

The findings will be presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 68th Annual Scientific Session in New Orleans.

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While the traditional risk factors include diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking, family history of premature heart attack and high cholesterol, substance abuse, including marijuana and cocaine were more the reason behind the increased heart attacks in younger patients. Pixabay

For the study, the researchers included a total of 2,097 young patients.

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They found that the group below 40 had more spontaneous coronary artery dissection — a tear in the vessel wall, which tends to be more common in women, especially during pregnancy.

Good habits like avoiding tobacco, regular exercise, heart healthy diet, weight loss if required, managing blood pressure and cholesterol, controlling diabetes if required, and staying away from substance abuse need to be maintained for a good heart, Blankstein suggested. (IANS)

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Deaths Rising in U.S. Due To Heart Failure, Especially in Younger Adults

Between 1999 and 2012, annual heart failure death rates dropped from 78.7 per 100,000 people to 53.7 per 100,000, the researchers found. But then mortality rates started to climb, reaching 59.3 fatalities for every 100,000 people by the end of the study period.

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Two women converse in New York, June 26, 2012. The nation's obesity epidemic continues to grow, led by an alarming increase among women. Obesity is one of the risk factors of heart failure. VOA

More U.S. adults are dying from heart failure today than a decade ago, and the sharpest rise in mortality is happening among middle-aged and younger adults, a new study suggests.

Researchers examined data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on deaths from heart failure between 1999 and 2017 among adults 35 to 84 years old.

Between 1999 and 2012, annual heart failure death rates dropped from 78.7 per 100,000 people to 53.7 per 100,000, the researchers found. But then mortality rates started to climb, reaching 59.3 fatalities for every 100,000 people by the end of the study period.

“Up until 2012, we saw decline in cardiovascular deaths in patients with heart failure and this was likely due to advances in medical and surgical treatments for heart failure,” said senior study author Dr. Sadiya Khan of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.

“However, this study demonstrates for the first time that the cardiovascular death rate is now increasing in patients with heart failure and this increase is especially concerning for premature death in people under 65,” Khan said by email.

A person receives a test for diabetes during Care Harbor L.A. free medical clinic in Los Angeles, Sept. 11, 2014.
A person receives a test for diabetes during Care Harbor L.A. free medical clinic in Los Angeles, Sept. 11, 2014.

Heart failure by the numbers

About 5.7 million American adults have heart failure, according to the CDC, and about half of the people who develop this condition die within five years of diagnosis. Heart failure happens when the heart can’t pump enough blood and oxygen to supply vital organs.

In the study, African Americans were more likely to die of heart failure than whites, and this disparity was especially pronounced among younger adults, researchers report in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Compared to white men, black men had a 1.16-fold higher risk of death from heart failure in 1999 but a 1.43-fold higher mortality risk by 2017, the study found.

And, compared to white women, black women started out with a 1.35-fold higher risk of death from heart failure and had a 1.54-fold greater risk by the end of the study period.

When researchers looked just at adults 35 to 64 years old, the racial disparity was even starker: by 2017 black men had a 2.60-fold higher risk of death from heart failure and black women had a 2.97 fold higher risk of death.

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“Heart failure is preventable and treatable,” Fonarow said. “There is an urgent need … to eliminate the healthcare policy that has been associated with the increase in heart failure deaths. Pixabay

“More than 50 percent of black adults have hypertension and have high rates of obesity and diabetes, and this may explain a portion of the disparities in heart failure mortality,” Khan said.

Risk factors, access to care

“Beyond differences in risk factor prevalence, disparities in access to care unfortunately contribute to both inadequate prevention and diagnosis,” Khan added. “We need to do better in terms of access to care for all Americans.”

The study used data from the CDC that includes the underlying and contributing cause of death from all death certificates in the U.S. between 1999 to 2017, for a total of more than 47.7 million people.

The study wasn’t designed to determine what might be causing the rise in heart failure deaths.

“Some have speculated this mortality increase has to do with increased prevalence of heart failure risk factors of diabetes and obesity,” said Dr. Gregg Fonarow, a cardiologist and researcher at the University of California, Los Angeles, who wasn’t involved in the study.

However, it’s also possible that a recent shift in Medicare payment rules designed to curb repeat hospitalizations may have “also contributed to the increases in mortality by restricting necessary care, particularly in the most vulnerable heart failure patients,” Fonarow said by email.

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While black men are more likely to develop heart failure at younger ages, and less likely to receive recommended treatments, they’re also more likely to be treated at hospitals that are disproportionately impacted by Medicare efforts to curb repeat hospitalizations, or readmissions, Fonarow said.

“Heart failure is preventable and treatable,” Fonarow said. “There is an urgent need … to eliminate the healthcare policy that has been associated with the increase in heart failure deaths.” (VOA)