For the first time, Yale University researchers have identified the risk factors that are most likely to lead to a heart attack or acute myocardial infarction (AMI) in men and women under 55.
The researchers identified statistically significant differences in AMI risk variables and the degree of correlations among young people between boys and girls, emphasising the necessity for a gender-specific preventative strategy. According to the study, hypertension, diabetes, depression, and poverty, among other conditions, put women at a higher risk of AMI than males.
The findings of the study were published in the journal JAMA Network Open on May 3rd.
This population-based case-control study looked at the association between a range of risk variables for AMI in younger persons, contrary to popular assumption.
The researchers compared data from 2,264 AMI patients who took part in the VIRGO trial (Variation in Recovery: The Role of Gender in Acute Myocardial Infarction Patient Outcomes) with data from 2,264 population-based controls who were matched for age, gender, and race and were collected as part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).
The most surprising finding is that young men and women have risk variables that are usually separate. There have been seven risk factors identified for AMI in women.
Diabetes, depression, hypertension (high blood pressure), current smoking, a family history of AMI, a poor household income, and high cholesterol were all identified as risk factors. Diabetes had the strongest link, followed by current smoking (including cigarette consumption), depression (including depression-related symptoms), hypertension (including hypertension-related symptoms), low household income (including poverty), and a family history of AMI, according to the findings.
The most significant risk factors for AMI in men were current smoking and a family history of AMI.
The prevalence of AMI has increased in recent years among younger women, according to Yuan Lu, an assistant professor of medicine at Yale School of Medicine and the study’s lead author.
Young women with AMI have a unique or enhanced phenotype due to their young age, she explained. It was discovered that young women have a twofold higher risk of death after an AMI than similarly aged men. We now have evidence of statistically significant differences in risk factor profiles and risk factor associations with AMI between men and women as a result of this new study.
This study employed population-attributable risk analysis to determine the impact of various risk factors on the population. Seven risk variables, the most of which are theoretically changeable, accounted for the vast majority of the total risk of AMI in the study population’s young women (83.9%) and young boys (83.9%). (85.1 percent ). According to Lu and her colleagues, some of these factors, such as hypertension, diabetes, depression, and poverty, had a larger influence on young girls than on young boys.
Impact and future implications.
This study demonstrates the critical importance of studying young women who have had heart attacks, a group that has largely been ignored in many studies despite having a prevalence roughly equal to that of young women diagnosed with breast cancer” (CORE).
The first measure is to raise awareness of the problem among doctors and young patients. National efforts like the American Heart Association’s “Go Red for Women,” which promotes awareness about the dangers of cardiovascular disease in young women, according to the researchers, should be expanded. It is also vital to create effective techniques for improving the delivery of evidence-based AMI prevention guidelines by health-care practitioners. A risk prediction tool tailored to the needs of particular patients, for example, could assist clinicians in determining who is most at risk and developing treatment options.
It’s also a good idea to consider the many forms of AMI. While certain known risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes, and high cholesterol are more common in type-1 AMI, the researchers discovered that other AMI subtypes, such as type-2 AMI (which is associated with a greater death rate), are less common in type-1 AMI.
This study, one of the first and largest of its kind in the United States, looked at the relationships between a range of risk variables and the occurrence of AMI in young females and a similar cohort of young males. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, a programme that collects demographic, socioeconomic, nutritional, and health-related data, was also used to create a comparable population-based reference group.
In the past, longitudinal studies were utilised to predict the risk of AMI in younger populations. The disease, on the other hand, takes a long time to emerge due to the low prevalence of occurrence among young people. According to Lu, several studies lack sufficient AMI episodes to draw conclusions on risk variables and their relative importance in young women and men.
The number of heart attack patients admitted to hospitals in the United States has been dropping over time, according to a study published in the journal JAMA Cardiology. However, as Lu et al., when the fraction of these patients is broken down by age, it is obvious that the number of younger people being hospitalised for heart attacks is increasing. AMI appears to be more common among children and young people, highlighting the need of preventing heart attacks in these groups.
Younger women account for about 5% of all heart attacks that occur in the United States each year, according to statistics. Every year, 40,000 young women are admitted to hospitals with “acute myocardial infarction,” and heart disease is the main cause of death in this demographic.
According to the study, we can improve these outcomes by preventing heart attacks in women by raising awareness about the occurrence of heart attacks among younger women. The next frontier to be investigated could be better knowledge of the function of female-specific risk factors in the prevention of cardiovascular disease in young women.
Story Source: Original story written by Yale University. Note: Content may be edited for style and length by Scible News.
Yuan Lu, Shu-Xia Li, Yuntian Liu, Fatima Rodriguez, Karol E. Watson, Rachel P. Dreyer, Rohan Khera, Karthik Murugiah, Gail D’Onofrio, Erica S. Spatz, Khurram Nasir, Frederick A. Masoudi, Harlan M. Krumholz. Sex-Specific Risk Factors Associated With First Acute Myocardial Infarction in Young Adults. JAMA Network Open, 2022; 5 (5): e229953 DOI: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.9953