Though heart disease — America’s leading cause of death — tends to be associated with older men, young women are increasingly counting themselves among the patients who are at risk for and victims of heart attacks.
Young women account for more and more of the hospital admissions for heart attacks in the U.S., according to new research.
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The dramatic increase — from 21% of admissions between 1995 and 1999 to 31% between 2010 and 2014 — is far steeper than the one experienced by men, who historically comprised a larger percentage of young people experiencing heart attacks.
This data comes from a recent study published in scientific journal Circulation. Researchers found that women ages 35-54 constituted “the largest increase” in admissions among young people for acute myocardial infarction (AMI) — another term for a heart attack.
“The increasing proportion of AMI attributable to young patients was most pronounced among women. Relative to young men, young women had a higher comorbidity burden, and a lesser likelihood of undergoing an invasive strategy or being managed with guideline-based AMI medications,” the study reads.
Black women were more likely to be counted among heart attack patients than their white counterparts, indicating that race, as well as gender, may play a part. Researchers wrote the increase in AMI hospitalizations was “likely multifactorial but may be related to modifiable risk factors.”
The study’s authors recommended that clinical trials could target women and come up with a treatment specifically for them. A prevention program is also needed, as are media initiatives such as the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign, they wrote.
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