New study says heart attacks striking younger obese people

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Obesity could be leading younger people to brushes with tragedy, a new study has found.

“We are seeing a number of younger patients, presenting with heart attacks. A majority of these patients are at risk from some family predisposition but in addition are often found to be either smokers or are obese,” said Gates Vascular Institute Cardiologist Vijay Iyer.

Cardiologist Vijay Iyer says obese patients are predisposed to diabetes, which is a risk factor to cardiovascular disease.

According to the Cleveland Clinic researchers report, obesity plays a role in 40 percent of severe heart attacks.

And the average age of patients suffering deadly heart attacks has dropped from 64 years old to 60.

“The average age is coming down, but the average age should not be coming down because people are living longer. You would expect that the average age of heart attacks should be going up, the fact that it’s declining suggests that those risk factors that were developing later are developing sooner,” said Dr. Iyer.

Having heart disease is a risk factor to having a heart attack. Doctor Iyer says Western New York has high rates of it.

“We need to pay attention to the fact that our population continues to have high rates of smoking, high rates of obesity and high rates of diabetes. We need to be vigilant as a community in educating people about all of these risk factors,” said Dr. Iyer.

Lifestyle changes like increased exercise, not smoking, and staying physically fit are important for heart attack prevention.

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