Young adults are prone to heart attacks not just because they have a family history of cardio issues but they are more related to unhealthy lifestyles. A research presented at ESC Congress 2021 said that young heart attack victims are more likely to be smokers, obese and have high blood pressure or diabetes compared to their peers.
NOT JUST PARENTAL HEART FAILURE
The study claims that parental history of a premature heart attack is linked with heart failures at a young age but it is not just the only contributing factor. Author of the study Prof. Harm Wienbergen (Bremen Institute for Heart and Circulation Research, Germany), noted that their findings underlined the importance of preventing smoking and overweight in children and adolescents to reduce the likelihood of heart disease later in life. He also mentioned that understanding the reasons for heart attacks in young adults is important from a societal overweight in children and adolescents to reduce the likelihood of heart disease later in life. He also mentioned that understanding the reasons for heart attacks in young adults is important from a societal perspective due to their employment and family responsibilities.
However, he noted that there are limited data on the predictors of heart events in this group. The study looked at the clinical characteristics of consecutive patients admitted to hospital with acute myocardial infarction at 45 years of age or younger with randomly selected individuals from the general population in the same geographic region in Germany. They analysed 522 patients enrolled from the Bremen STEMI registry and 1,191 matched controls were identified from the German National Cohort (NA KO).
The proportion of active smokers was more than three-fold higher in the young heart attack group compared to the general population (82.4% vs. 24.1%; p<0.01). Patients were more likely to have high blood pressure (25.1% vs 0.5% p<0.01), diabetes (11.7% vs. 1.7%; p<0.01) and a parental history of premature heart attack (27.6% vs 8.1%; p<0.01) compared to their peers. The proportion consuming alcohol at least four times a week was higher in the general population (11.2%) compared to heart patients (7.1%; p<0.01).
The study found that hypertension was associated with an 85 fold odds of a heart attack aged 45 or under. Active smoking, diabetes mellitus, parental history and obesity (BMI 30 kg/m or above) were 12,5, 3 and 2 folds. Alcohol consumption was associated with a lower odds of heart attack at a young age with an odds ratio of 0.3
Wienbergen noted that the study showed much closer relation between smoking, hypertension, diabetes, obesity and an increased likelihood of premature acute myocardial infarction. He concluded: “Our study suggests that family history is not the only predisposing factor for early heart attacks. The findings add impetus to the argument that young people should be educated about why it is important to avoid smoking and have a healthy body weight.”