By Jack Craver
has steadily increased for Americans in recent decades, particularly for men, but the age at which one of the biggest killers strikes has actually declined.
A new study shows that the average age at which the most dangerous form of heart attack hits has decreased from 64 to 60 over the past 20 years.
Today, victims of the high-risk “ST-elevation heart attacks,” are less healthy, on average, than they were in 1995. They are more likely to be obese, diabetic, to smoke, and to have high blood pressure.
That suggests that heart attacks
are becoming less common among those with healthy lifestyles, and that the remaining victims represent a very unhealthy subset of the U.S. population.
Heart attacks appear more discriminate than in past years. While just over half of heart attack victims in 1995 had high blood pressure, today nearly 80 percent do.
And while the rate of tobacco use has declined significantly over the past 20 years (cigarettes now command the loyalty of less than 20 percent of adults), nearly half of heart attack victims are smokers today, compared to 28 percent in 1995.
Lead study author Dr. Samir Kapadia, who heads the Interventional Cardiology section at the Cleveland Clinic, said the study highlighted the importance of educating patients on the benefits of lifestyle changes.
"Primary care physicians and cardiologists have to work harder to provide education and specific programs to help reduce risk factors
in the community to reduce the burden of heart attack," Kapadia said, according to HealthDay.
Originally posted on BenefitsPro.com