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Heart Attacks in young people are rising – Could YOU be at Risk?

Updated: May 26

In recent years, a concerning trend has emerged with an increasing number of our young population experiencing heart attacks. Once thought to primarily affect older adults, heart disease is now impacting younger demographics at an alarming rate. As a leading provider of first aid solutions, we believe it's crucial to shed light on this issue and explore the factors contributing to this concerning trend.

What’s your risk?

The baseline risk in Australia for people under 35 is 1.3 per 100,000 people per year, with 15% occurring either during or immediately after exercise.  (Heart Foundation)

What’s changing for young people to be affected by Heart Attacks? Could this be YOU?

Unhealthy Lifestyle Habits

One of the primary drivers behind the rising risk of heart attacks among young people is the prevalence of unhealthy lifestyle habits. Poor dietary choices, characterised by the consumption of processed foods high in saturated fats, sugars, and sodium, contribute to obesity, high cholesterol levels, and hypertension – all significant risk factors for heart disease.

Burger and Chips
Whilst these foods may be okay on occasion, it is about your day to day diet

We’ve also seen a significant rise in consumption of energy drinks, which is having a negative impact on health.

Sedentary Behaviours

In an era dominated by technology and desk-bound jobs, many young individuals lead sedentary lives. Hours spent sitting, coupled with minimal physical activity, pave the way for cardiovascular issues.

hands on a controller
Not only are days spent at an office desk, night time and weekends are often spent behind a gaming console.

Lack of exercise not only contributes to obesity but also weakens the heart muscle, increasing susceptibility to heart attacks.

Substance Abuse and Stress

Smoking, drug abuse, and excessive alcohol consumption wreak havoc on the cardiovascular system, damaging blood vessels and increasing the likelihood of heart attacks.

drinking shots of alcohol
Lifestyle factors can result in negative impacts to health which may lead to heart attack

Moreover, young people today face unprecedented levels of stress from various sources – academic pressures, financial worries, and social expectations. Chronic stress elevates blood pressure and promotes unhealthy coping mechanisms , compounding the risk of heart disease.

Genetic Predisposition and Undiagnosed Conditions

While lifestyle factors play a significant role, genetic predispositions cannot be overlooked. You may have seen in the media, some very athletic and sporty individuals who have experienced a heart attack and some unfortunately whom have not survived.  

man seeing doctor
Seeing your GP regularly for health checks is important

Some young individuals may have a family history of heart disease, heightening their susceptibility to cardiac events. Additionally, undiagnosed medical conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, and high cholesterol often fly under the radar, increasing the risk of heart attacks among young people.

Environmental Factors

Environmental influences, including air pollution and exposure to toxins, further exacerbate the risk of heart disease among young individuals. These external factors, combined with internal vulnerabilities, create a perfect storm for cardiovascular complications.

air pollution
Where you live or work can impact your health

Empowering Prevention and Intervention

As advocates for health and safety, it's imperative that we empower young people with the knowledge and tools to protect their cardiovascular health. Encouraging healthy lifestyle choices – nutritious eating, regular exercise, and stress management – forms the cornerstone of prevention.

woman stressed
Managing stress is an important measure for good health

Equally important is early detection through routine health check-ups and screenings, allowing for timely intervention and treatment.

The rising prevalence of heart attacks among young people serves as a wake-up call, highlighting the urgency of prioritising cardiovascular health from an early age. By fostering a culture of wellness, promoting healthy habits, and advocating for proactive healthcare, we can stem the tide of heart disease and ensure a healthier future for generations to come.

woman at sunset prioritising wellbeing
Prioritising health from an early age is key

At F.A.S.T. First Aid Training we aim to share information to increase knowledge to respond effectively in emergencies, including cardiac events. Time is critical in terms of First Aid response and every minute matters!

Reach out to book a CPR course with us today.

FAST First Aid Training courses. Ipswich, Brisbane, Gold Coast



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