Smokers under 40 are at risk from heart attack - smashing the belief that only older people are vulnerable, says a new study. Experts studied 23,000 cases of people who had survived heart attacks between 1985 and 1994 and found four fifths of the victims were in the 35-39 age group.
The World Health Organisation report says the figures prove that smoking and heart disease are not just linked to older people. The report said: "Although young people may acknowledge the fact that cigarette smoking is a major risk factor in coronary heart disease (CHD) they, and even physicians, may think that this is only a concern in older age."
"Our data indicates that half of non-fatal myocardial infarctions in men and women younger than 50 years - even more in younger age groups - would be preventable if smoking cessation programmes were successful.", informs Sky News.
There was a 65 percent greater risk of CHD death for people with at least three factors compared to people whow did not have metabolic syndrome, diabetes or cardiovascular disease, the study found.
"It is particularly interesting that patients with even one or two metabolic syndrome traits, or those with metabolic syndrome but without diabetes, were at increased risk for death from coronary heart disease and cardiovascular diseases," Nathan D. Wong, director of the Heart Disease Prevention Program at the University of California, Irvine, said in a prepared statement.
A study published last December in Circulation found that four traits associated with metabolic syndrome -- high blood pressure, insulin resistance, low "good" cholesterol, and high blood triglycerides -- were linked to increased risk of heart attack and stroke, according to Forbes.
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