Monday, October 13, 2008

First Heart Attack - How Young?

A study from Michigan gave an answer to a question: Can obesity make someone suffer a heart attack at a younger age? The authors examined the data of 111,847 patients who suffered from a type of heart attacks called "non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI)." They found that the leanest individuals whose BMI was 18.5 kg/m(2) or less, developed that type of heart attacks at an average age of 74.6 years, compared to those with BMI of 40 or above, whose average age for the first heart attack was only 58.7 years.

Notice that a BMI of less than 18.5 is considered, by definition, underweight (see the Bariatric Surgery Glossary), which is abnormal and not healthy. Remember, the benefits of a healthy heart can only be realized in an overall healthy body. Having said so, the contribution of obesity to the premature occurrence of a heart attack cannot be ignored. We should do everything possible to treat and prevent obesity when as young as possible, to help preventing life-threatening complications.


Madala MC, Franklin BA, Chen AY, Berman AD, Roe MT, Peterson ED, Ohman EM, Smith SC Jr, Gibler WB, McCullough PA; CRUSADE Investigators. Obesity and age of first non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2008 Sep 16;52(12):979-85. [PMID: 18786477] (Abstract)