December 19, 2017 – Early Heart Attacks


Anchor lead: Can we identify those at risk of heart attacks taking place early in life? Elizabeth Tracey reports

When someone who’s fairly young has a heart attack, everyone is shocked. Now a new study takes a closer look at those who have heart attacks early in life to try to see if they could have been identified as being at risk. Michael Blaha, a preventive cardiologist at Johns Hopkins, describes the findings.

Blaha: What this study showed is that fifty percent or more of these patients would not have been recommended to be on medical therapy the day before their heart attack. Sometimes this means that high risk adults should get something called a coronary artery calcium score of their heart, and other times it means that patients with early risk factors should be treated more aggressively at a young age. If you’re an individual who has a risk factor at an early age, for example early high blood pressure or high cholesterol at a young age, you should see your doctor to talk about your cardiovascular risk.  :29

Blaha notes that coronary calcium scan is quick, inexpensive, and may help identify younger people at risk. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.