Why Are Younger Persons Dying From Heart Conditions?

Posted by Natasha E. Russell on Sunday, November 9, 2008 Under: Acquired Heart disease

It would appear that the younger generation is marked for death in this century.  The youths are being attacked on different angles.  Young people are dying from drug abuse, violence among teens, HIV and AIDS and to add insult to injury the young are having heart attacks,angina and strokes.

In the early 1990's when I studied cardiology, you were taught then that you would not suspect a heart attack in anyone under the age of 50 years old for males and 60 years old for women.  The times have changed so much that it is now a common occurrence to have 28years old, 30years old male and female walking in to the emergency room with heart attacks.

What are some of the contributing factors to this phenomenon especially in Jamaica?

  • Change in lifestyle..
    • Persons are living a more sedentary lifestyle, more persons drive to every where they are going
    • Change in diet.. More Jamaicans are depending on fast food and take out these days instead of home cooked meals
    • Smoking is becoming an acceptable fad for more young Jamaicans ( not just weed)
    • Drinking a high content of alcohol on clubbing nights is also gaining popularity
    • Lack of exercise, the children no longer, play  physical games or walk to school, compare this to even the early 1980's.  Children are content just watching television or playing video games.
  • Maintaining unhealthy weight..
    •  for many Jamaican, fat means healthy. If you are too thin or slim, in their estimation, then you are told that you need some "fattening up"  At which point you might be introduced to the non failing cornmeal porridge. Jamaican women know that when their men leer at them with a " yuh look good" it means they need to lose some weight.  Jamaican men love women with 'meat on them'
  • Leading stressful lives..
    • This may stem from working environment, family relationships and allowing oneself to become overly concerned about the economy.
  • Diabetes
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Genetics
    •  Persons who are born in families that heart disease runs in should ensure that they minimise their risk of getting a heart attack, stroke or angina.  With the increased incidence of heart conditions over the years the genetic association has also increased.

Stay tuned for the next blog where we explore how to protect yourself. Please add your comments or join in the chat

In : Acquired Heart disease 

Managing Director, CARDIOVMEDS

I have been working in the field of Cardiology and open heart surgery since 1991. I worked first as a perfusionist, then as a cardiovascular technologist. My duties have included working in the cardiac cathetherisation lab, analysising the 24-48 hour ambulatory ECG ( holter), assisting with various diagnostic tests. I have also worked as administrator of the paediatric cardiac surgery program. Key achievements have been presentation at the Caribbean Cardiac Conference on topics such as: Diagnosing Right Ventricular Infarction : The role of the technician Familial Atrial Fibrillation (FAF) Revealed