Are Heart Attacks Becoming A Young Person’s Disease?

Dec 21, 2018

The American Heart Association says heart attack symptoms in women can include uncomfortable pressure or fullness in the chest; pain in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach; shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort; or breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea, or lightheadedness.
Credit Anita Rao / WUNC

The average age of heart attacks is declining according to new research. A recent study published in the journal Circulation shows that a higher proportion of heart attacks are occurring in people under the age of 55 — and specifically younger women. Close to a third of heart attacks now occur in women under 55.

Dr. Sameer Arora, a cardiology fellow at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, is the lead author of this study that examines recent trends in heart attack data. It also details discrepancies in care; women are also less likely to get evidenced-based care for a heart attack.

Host Frank Stasio talks to Dr. Arora about his research and how these issues can be addressed.