Heart Attacks at Young Age: New Ways of Prevention

Lately, incidents of young-age people getting heart attacks have increased. Let us find out the root causes and how to prevent the risks at early stage.

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In the past few years, incidents of younger people getting heart attacks have increased significantly. We have always heard that the risk of getting heart disease increases only when people reach old age.

But, this simple thumb rule is getting violated a lot these days. Naturally, the question arises, why? Let us find out the root causes and some other relevant information.

How to Prevent Heart Attacks at Younger People

What Does Cause Heart Attack?

A heart attack, or myocardial infarction, occurs when blood flow to the heart is partially or completely blocked. Without sufficient blood and oxygen, the heart cannot function properly. The longer this restricted blood flow persists, the more significant the damage to the heart muscle.

Relation between Heart Attack and Age?

As you age, your risk of experiencing a heart attack increases. This heightened risk is partly due to physical changes in your cardiovascular system, particularly your heart.

Several age-related changes in the heart can contribute to this increased risk:

  • Over time, fatty deposits can accumulate on the walls of your arteries, leading to atherosclerosis, which narrows the coronary arteries supplying blood and oxygen to your heart muscle.
  • Aging can cause your arteries to become stiffer and less flexible, raising the risk of a heart attack, especially if fatty deposits are also present.
  • The walls of your heart may thicken as you get older, increasing the overall size of your heart but decreasing the volume of its interior chambers. This can reduce the heart’s capacity to hold blood and impair its relaxation ability.
  • The four valves in your heart, which regulate blood flow, might thicken, stiffen, or become leaky over time, making it harder for your heart to control blood flow efficiently.
  • Age can alter the electrical impulses in your heart, potentially leading to arrhythmias, where the heartbeat is too fast, too slow, or irregular.
  • Some older adults become more sensitive to sodium, which can elevate blood pressure and further increase the risk of a heart attack.

Unfortunately, Heart attacks can occur at any age. A 2017 study indicates that the average age for a first heart attack is decreasing.

Studies have found that both Substance abuse and smoking are the biggest reasons of getting hearts attacks at young age. But, these are not the only causes.

This trend is likely due to a combination of various factors, particularly the increasing prevalence of risk factors among younger individuals, such as:

  • Obesity
  • Prediabetes
  • Dyslipidemia, or abnormal levels of blood lipids or fats, including LDL cholesterol and triglycerides

Preventive medical care and lifestyle changes are not being adopted early enough. Unhealthy lifestyle e.g. poor diet, lack of exercise, etc. can have lasting effects on heart health.

In some cases, a family history of heart disease may be a significant risk factor for heart attacks in younger individuals.

Causes of Cardiovascular Problems

Symptoms of Heart Attack that None should Ignore

The symptoms might vary from one person to another, but here are some common symptoms

  • Pain in the chest area
  • Breathing difficulty or short breath
  • Arm/Neck/Shoulder pain
  • Excessive sweating
  • Feeling dizzy and exhausting
  • Nauseous feeling

While men feel a bit more severe chest pain than that among women, whereas women feel a tightness in the chest area. Interestingly, some women even do not feel any chest pain at all during heart attack.

Whilst for men, the symptoms build up rapidly than among women. Fatigue can be felt over the period of few days prior to heart attacks among women.

Preventive Measures that can be Taken by Both Men and Women

Risk factors like family history or a cardiovascular anomaly cannot be changed overnight, but there are some other risk factors that can definitely be changed/corrected/controlled e.g.:

Smoking, Vaping, and Even Secondhand Smoking are Major Reasons of Getting Heart Attacks at Young People

Tips to Improve Your Overall Heart Health

The earlier you make the following changes, the better your cardiovascular health becomes,

#1 Quit smoking As Early As You can

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute states that the chemicals in tobacco smoke can harm both the function and structure of your heart and blood vessels, leading to atherosclerosis and significantly increasing your risk of a heart attack.

Quitting smoking can improve the health of your heart, blood vessels, lungs, and other organs.

#2 Do Not Allow Secondhand Smoking

The FDA warns that exposure to secondhand smoke also raises your risk of a heart attack. If possible, avoid allowing smoking in your home or car.

#3 Control Your Cholesterol Level

High cholesterol levels, particularly high LDL cholesterol, are major risk factors for heart attacks. If your cholesterol is elevated, consult your doctor about the best treatment options to reduce it.

#4 Manage Blood Pressure

High blood pressure can alter your heart’s function, making it less effective. Medication and lifestyle changes can help manage blood pressure. Discuss with your doctor the best treatment for you.

#5 Do Not Get Stressed

Chronic stress is a significant risk factor for heart disease and heart attacks. If you frequently feel stressed, explore stress management techniques that help you relax.

#6 More Exercise, Reduced Chances of Getting Attacked

It is recommended that adults must engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week for optimal health. Aim to move more and sit less throughout the day.

#7 Monitor Your Weight and BMI

Waist circumference as an important indicator of heart attack risk. If you are overweight or obese, discuss healthy weight loss strategies with your doctor.

#8 Moderate to Low Alcohol Consumption

Excessive alcohol intake can increase blood pressure and triglycerides, and cause irregular heartbeats.

Drink alcohol in moderation—up to one standard drink per day for women and two for men.

#9 Control If You have Diabetes

Proper diabetes management is essential to minimize your risk of a heart attack if you have diabetes.

Final Takeaway

We believe that all these tips would definitely help you in preventing early age heart attack. Check your lifestyle and monitor your diet, start doing these today onwards for better heart health.

Some risks cannot be changed while some can be controlled. Also, go for an expert supervision, talk to your doctor if you feel any discomfort in the chest area ever.

That’s all for today. If you find this article helpful, make sure to share it with your friends and family. Take care; celebrate life.

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