Causes of heart attack in youngsters revealed

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Aug 24, 2017
Quick Bites

  • Young adults are more likely to ignore warning signs than adults.
  • Smoking, drinking and illicit drugs up the risk of a heart attack.
  • Addressing risk factors is key to preventing heart attacks.

Unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, being overweight and smoking are the top causes of heart attacks in adults. Are these the same factors that are responsible for increasing heart attacks in youngsters?

Studies have found that heart attacks, a disease of the old, has been alarmingly increasing in youngsters. What could  be responsible for this increasing number of heart patients among youngsters? Let's take a look.

Overlooking warning signs

Heart attacks can happen in younger people; however, they are more common in older individuals. A study at the Harvard School of Public Health shows that young adults are more likely to ignore warning signs than adults. Chest discomfort, throat discomfort, backache, indigestion, chills and panic attacks are not taken for a serious health problem  by youngsters. Know-how of the symptoms is the key to identify and prevent heart attacks as many who suffer a heart attack never realised they could be at risk. 

Food choices

Children consume more fat, calories and salt nowadays, thanks to the bad food choices. These foods not only contribute extra calories, but sodium and saturated fat which can take a toll on their heart health

Unhealthy behaviours

Unhealthy behaviours such as cigarette smoking and drinking alcohol increase the risk of a heart attack significantly. Illicit drugs have the tendency to increase heart rate and thus, induce heart attack. 

Heart attack risk factors

Most risk factors for heart attacks stay the same for younger men as they do for older adults. These are family history of cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol, hypertension (high blood pressure), smoking, abdominal obesity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Lack of exercise and low educational standards also contribute to heart attacks. For uncontrolled risk factors such as family history, consult your physician for medical advice. 

What can be done?

Health experts stress the importance of more aggressive prevention strategies in young adults to stop heart attacks, particularly those who are at high risk. Addressing risk factors early in life is key to preventing life-threatening heart attacks.
You should abide by the six rules for a healthy heart, which are as follows.

  • Not smoking
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Engaging in physical activity daily
  • Watching no more than two hours of TV every day
  • A maximum of two drinks per day
  • Sticking to a healthy diet

The above mentioned factors can greatly reduce the risk of heart attack. These steps become even more important for those who are obese. 

Image source: Shutterstock


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