Despite advances in the prevention and early detection of cardiovascular disease, heart attack patients are getting younger, fatter, and less health conscious.
A look at 10 years’ worth of patient data reveals these and other “alarming trends,” according to Dr. Samir R. Kapadia of the Cleveland Clinic.
“What we found was so very contradictory to what we expected,” he said at a press briefing held in advance of the annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology. “Amazingly, we saw that patients presenting with myocardial infarction were getting younger, and their body mass index was going up. There was more smoking, more hypertension, and more diabetes. And all of this despite our better understanding of cardiovascular risk factors.”
The findings seem to point to a serious gap between gathering scientific knowledge and putting that knowledge into practice.
“We have to extend our efforts and put a lot more into educating patients,” Dr. Kapadia said. “Maybe it’s not enough to just tell people to eat right and exercise – maybe we should also be providing them with a structured program. But this is not just the job of the cardiologist. Primary care physicians have to also have this insight, communicate it to the patients, and get them the resources they need to help prevent heart attacks.”
His retrospective study comprised 3,912 consecutive patients who were treated for ST-segment elevation MI (STEMI) from 1995 to 2014. Data were collected on age, gender, diabetes, hypertension, smoking, lipid levels, chronic renal impairment, and obesity. The group was divided into four epochs: 1995-1999, 2000-2004, 2005-2009, and 2010-2014. The researchers examined these factors both in the entire cohort and in a subset of 1,325 who had a diagnosis of coronary artery disease at the time of their MI.
Patients became significantly younger over the entire study period. In epoch 1, the mean age of the entire cohort was 63.6 years. By epoch 3, this had declined to 60.3 years – a significant drop. The change was also evident in the CAD subset; among these patients, mean age declined from 64.1 years in epoch 1 to 61.8 years in epoch 4.
Tobacco use increased significantly in both groups as well. In the overall cohort, the rate was 27.7% in epoch 1 and 45.4% in epoch 4. In the CAD subset, it rose from 24.6% to 42.7%.
Hypertension in the entire cohort increased from 56.7% to 77.3%. In the CAD subset, it increased from 60.9% to 89%.
Obesity increased in both cohorts in overlapping trends, from about 30% in epoch 1 to 40% in epoch 4.
Diabetes increased as well. In the entire cohort, it rose from 24.6% to 30.6%. In the CAD subset, it rose from 25.4% to 41.5%.
Dr. Kapadia noted that the proportion of patients with at least three major risk factors rose from 65% to 85%, and that the incidence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease increased from 5% to 12%, although he didn’t break this trend down by group.
Source: http://www.diabeteshub.com/news/type-2-diabetes/conference-news/article/heart-attack-patients-getting-younger-fatter-and-less-healthy/9b63bdd9996979bb7c33e8e38f0d57e5.html?utm_source=Hubs_DIAB_eNL_032716&utm_medium=email&utm_content=Heart attack patients getting younger, fatter, less healthy