Most people in their thirties and forties don’t worry about having a heart attack, especially if they are fit and healthy, but heart attacks among adults younger than 50 years of age are on the rise, according to researchers at Brigham Health.

Results from their study were presented at the American College of Cardiology meeting and showed that among individuals who suffer a heart attack at a young age, 1 in 5 were 40 or younger and that number has risen 2 percent each year for the past decade.

In a related study published in a recent issue of Journal of the American College of Cardiology, these Brigham investigators showed that patients who suffered a heart attack before 50 may have a genetic disorder that results in high cholesterol, known as familial hypercholesterolemia (FH).

In fact, about 10 percent of patients who suffer a heart attack before 50 had FH, and many continued having high cholesterol levels a year after their first heart attack.

Familial Hypercholesterolemia


Challiyil Eswaramangalath Vipin from Chalakudy, India [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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