No Change in Heart Attack Rates for Younger U.S. Adults

And women tend to fare worse than men, researchers find

No Change in Heart Attack Rates for Younger U.S. Adults

MONDAY, July 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Heart attack hospitalization rates among young and middle-aged adults have remained stable during the previous decade, even as seniors of Medicare age experienced a better than 20 percent decline in heart attacks, Yale University researchers have found. The study appears in the July 29 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

The researchers reviewed records of nearly 231,000 hospitalizations for heart attacks in patients 30 to 54, out of a total 1.1 million hospitalizations between 2001 and 2010 reported in a national database. They found that, overall, men and women aged 30 to 54 were hospitalized for heart attacks about as often at the end of the decade as at its start.

Even though women accounted for a quarter of younger adults hospitalized for heart attack, they were more likely to die from their heart attack and to stay longer in a hospital afterward. Black women, in particular, proved very vulnerable. They consistently had much higher hospitalization rates than white women, while there was little difference between black and white men.

"We should redirect our resources for primary heart attack prevention toward young women," study lead author Aakriti Gupta, M.D., a researcher at the Yale University School of Medicine's Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation, told HealthDay. "We need to pick up high blood pressure and diabetes in these young women early and treat it aggressively."

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