FRIDAY, Mar. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Because of its sheer size, the baby boomer generation, which includes 80 million Americans, will soon account for an increasing number of heart attack patients, according to research presented at the American Heart Association's 49th Annual Conference on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention, held Mar. 10 to 14 in Palm Harbor, Fla.
Hylan Shoob, Ph.D., of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues compared hospitalizations for acute myocardial infarction among persons aged 45 to 64 in 2000, 1990 and 1980. They also compared hospitalizations for the 1946-1965 baby boom birth cohort in 2000, the 1936-1955 birth cohort in 1990, and the 1926-1945 birth cohort in 1980.
Among patients aged 45 to 64, the researchers found that the hospitalization rate per 100,000 people was highest in 1990 (506.1) followed by 2000 (397.2) and 1980 (380.2). In their subgroup analysis, however, they found that the 1946-1965 baby boom birth cohort accounted for a greater share of hospitalizations in 2000 than the same-age subgroups did in 1990 and 1980.
"The first baby boomers will be 65 in 2011, making the aging of this cohort an imminent public health issue and the prevention of risk factors is essential," the authors conclude. "Health systems must enhance efforts for the early detection and treatment of hypertension, hyperlipidemia, obesity and diabetes in this age cohort to reduce the future health care demands, resources and costs associated with care and disability due to acute myocardial infarction."