A study released this week at the American Heart Association conference found that symptoms of heart disease, such as high blood pressure, often go undiagnosed in younger patients.
In the study, 13,593 health records were analyzed and revealed that two-thirds of the patients between 18 to 24 years old were not diagnosed with hypertension. The study also found that female doctors were more likely to make the diagnosis.
As obesity rates increase among young adults in the United States, so are rates of hypertension and high cholesterol. These factors are a bigger indicator than age for the risk of heart disease. People at a higher risk for heart disease are those with lifestyle choices and medical conditions that include obesity, diabetes, physical inactivity, excessive alcohol use and have a poor diet
Another study discussed at the conference also found that young adults fail to recognize heart-related chests pains as cardiac related.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death of women and men in the United States. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, 600,000 people die every year from heart disease, and every year 935,000 Americans have a heart attack.
Several warning signs of a heart attack are:
â¢Â· Chest pain
â¢Â· Shortness of breath
â¢Â· Discomfort in the arms, back, neck jaw and upper stomach
â¢Â· Nausea, lightheadedness and cold sweats
This study reveals the importance of young adults to speak with their doctors and ask questions. Knowing if your blood pressure is normal or high is also important to know. A timely diagnosis and control of high blood pressure is important, no matter the age of the patient.
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Source: CNN: "Young patients, docs, can miss signs of heart disease, attack," Nov. 6, 2012.