New data show heart attack rates are on the rise for people under the age of 40.
That data will be presented this weekend at the American College of Cardiology’s 68th Annual Scientific Session & Expo in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Hannibal Regional Healthcare System Cardiologist Dr. Chinualumogu Nwakile said the rates show an increase at a rate of two percent per year for the past 10 years.
Dr. Nwakile said this trend is being felt in Northeast Missouri.
For example, he said he just saw a 33-year-old patient, who was a perfectly fit boxer, in the ICU with a heart attack.
Dr. Nwakile cites three possible causes behind the increase; drug use, specifically cocaine, diabetes, and not having a primary doctor.
"If you do drugs, stop, they're not good for you," Dr. Nwakile said. "Secondly, get a doctor asap, because prevention is better than a cure. A cure is expensive and manpower. I would suggest getting plugged in with a doctor right away."
Dr. Nwakile said diet is key.
He encourages couch potatoes to get up and have 30 minutes of intense activity three times a week, at the least.