“Understanding Heart Attacks in Adolescents and Young Adults: Symptoms, Causes, and Prevention”

2023-05-30 06:43:43

Heart attacks are extremely rare in adolescents. They mainly occur in people with heart defects, but important risk factors such as high cholesterol are increasingly common in young people. Knowing the symptoms of a heart attack is crucial to saving lives.

Less than 10% of heart attacks occur in people under the age of 40, and only a small fraction of them occur in teenagers. However, the number of heart attacks in young people is on the rise due to a combination of lifestyle risk factors and congenital heart defects. People with congenital heart defects can work with a cardiologist to understand and reduce their risk. It’s also important to manage lifestyle risk factors, such as a high-fat diet, excessive sugar intake, or a sedentary lifestyle. The use of alcohol and drugs, such as cocaine, can also damage the heart.

When a teenager feels chest pain, they may panic. However, a heart attack is one of the least likely causes of chest pain. Nevertheless, it is essential to examine all the symptoms and seek prompt medical attention. This article explains the symptoms of a heart attack in young men, as well as the causes of sudden cardiac arrest. It also discusses other causes of chest pain in teens and offers tips for maintaining optimal heart health.

Symptoms of heart attack in young men

Chest pain is the most common symptom of a heart attack. The pain is usually felt in the center or left side of the chest and lasts for several minutes or may go away and then come back. Some people describe it as pain or pressure.

Other symptoms may also occur, including:

Jaw, neck, or back pain, especially when combined with chest pain.
Shortness of breath.
Shoulder pain.
Weakness or dizziness.
Unexplained fatigue, especially in the presence of other symptoms.
Nausea or vomiting, especially in the presence of other symptoms.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest in Teenagers: Symptoms, Causes and Prevention

Sudden cardiac arrest occurs when the heart suddenly stops beating or when its rhythm becomes so irregular that it can no longer pump blood efficiently throughout the body. Although sudden cardiac arrest is rare, it is more common in young people with underlying heart disease or a congenital heart defect.

Symptoms of cardiac arrest can be similar to those of a heart attack and include the following:

Sudden collapse
Shortness of breath
Chest pain
No pulse or very weak pulse
Cardiac arrest is inevitably fatal in the absence of immediate medical intervention.


A heart attack occurs when part of the heart does not get enough blood. It can happen when blood vessels are blocked by a clot and is more common in people with risk factors that narrow blood vessels.

Risk factors

A 2018 study of American adults aged 18 to 39 found that 8.8% of young adults had at least one risk factor for heart attack.

The main risk factors for heart attack include:

High blood pressure
High levels of cholesterol or triglycerides

Certain lifestyle factors increase the risk of having one or more risk factors, including:

Sedentary lifestyle
high fat diet
High levels of cholesterol or triglycerides
Even in the presence of many risk factors, heart attacks are rare in young people. However, young people with heart disease or a birth defect may be at higher risk.

Other causes of chest pain

Chest pain is common in young people, and a heart attack is rarely the most likely cause. The most common causes of chest pain are:

Muscle injuries
Stomach pains
Gastrointestinal problems
Infections such as herpes
panic attacks
More serious causes, such as heart infections, can also cause chest pain.

Panic attack: symptoms, distinction with heart attack and prevention of heart disease

A panic attack can have similarities to a heart attack. A person may experience an overwhelming sensation of dying, accompanied by chest pain and difficulty breathing. This is why it can be difficult to differentiate a panic attack from a heart attack. If in doubt, it is best to seek emergency medical attention.

Symptoms of a panic attack are more likely to be related to the panic itself rather than a heart attack if the following occur:

The person is experiencing intense anxiety or has recently experienced an increase in their level of anxiety.
The person has no risk factors for heart disease.
The symptoms disappear spontaneously.
Symptoms improve with relaxation techniques such as meditation or slow breathing.
The symptoms are similar to those of a panic attack that the person has already experienced.

Prevention and heart health

Here are some strategies to reduce risk factors for heart disease and heart attacks:

See a doctor and ask about risk factors for heart disease.
Monitor and treat any underlying health conditions, especially diabetes and other conditions that can affect heart health.
Adopt a healthy and balanced diet.
Reduce sodium and sugar intake, while avoiding trans fats.
Regularly engage in physical activity.
Maintain a healthy weight or achieve an optimal weight.

In summary, heart attacks are extremely rare in people under 40, and even rarer in teenagers. However, they can occur, especially in people with underlying heart disease. Regular checkups can help assess cardiovascular health and establish a risk factor management plan. Teenagers who experience chest pain or other heart attack-like symptoms should tell a parent or trusted adult and seek emergency medical attention promptly.

* Presse Santé strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information given can not replace the advice of a health professional.

#Symptoms #heart #attack #men

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