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Heart Failure and Stroke Are Increasing in Men Under 40, Find Studies

Heart failure and stroke are rare diagnoses among young people. However, according to a study by the University of Gothenburg, they are now clearly increasing in men under the age of 40. Scientists have discovered an association between obesity in the late teens and weakness.

This study, published in the Journal of Internal Medicine, contains data on 1,258,432 men with an average age of 18.3 who participated in military service in Sweden between 1971 and 1995.

Details of male weight, height, and physical fitness at the time of enlistment were integrated with the National Board of Health and Welfare National Patient Registration and Cause of Death Registration data from 1991 to 2016. Therefore, men have been monitored for over 20 years since they joined the army.

The percentage of participants who were overweight at the time of enlistment, that is, the percentage of participants with a body mass index (BMI) of 25-30, increased from 6.6 to 11.2% between 1971 and 1995, but the percentage of obesity ( BMI over 30) is 1.0 to 2.6 percent. At the same time, the level of physical strength at the time of enlistment also dropped slightly.

Increased heart failure and stroke

These factors, overweight, obesity, and weakness, partially explain the significant increase in heart failure and stroke seen in this study... “

David Åberg, First Author and Associate Professor of Research at Gothenburg University Sahlgrenska Academy

Åberg is a specialist at Sahlgrenska University Hospital.

“It’s nice to see these young men have a fairly sharp decrease in heart attacks and a reduction in cardiovascular mortality, despite the increase in obesity,” he continues. I will.
Studies show that cases of heart failure within 21 years of enlistment increased by 69%, from 0.49 per 1,000 men enlisted in the first five years (1971-75) to 0.83 / 1,000 enlisted men. did. The last five (1991-95).

The number of stroke cases (cerebral infarction and cerebral hemorrhage) showed a similar tendency. The increase in stroke was 32%, from 0.68 in the first five-year cohort to 0.9 per 1,000 in the last. In the case of cerebral hemorrhage, the rate of increase was 20%, from 0.45 to 0.54 per 1,000 people.

Strong support for physical activity

In contrast, heart attacks within 21 years of enlistment decreased by 43% from 1.4 to 0.8 per 1,000 people in the first and last enlisted cohorts, respectively. The rate of death from all cardiovascular diseases has also decreased by 50%, from 1.5 to 0.74 per 1,000.

The fact that trends in cardiovascular disease move in different directions over time suggests that other unknown factors are also involved. According to researchers, weight trends after enlistment may be one such factor, but stress and substance use may be other factors. Researchers believe that a sharp decline in smoking underlies the decline, especially in the case of heart attacks. However, the fact remains that overweight and obesity have an impact.

“Without overweight and increased obesity, heart attacks would have decreased further. Therefore, our results strongly suggest that obesity and, to some extent, weakness by age 18 have an early effect. Support.-Onset of cardiovascular disease. Therefore, at the social level, it is important to gain more physical activity, reduce restlessness, and establish good eating habits already by adolescence. ” David Åberg concludes.


Journal reference:

Åberg, ND, et al.. (2021) Diverse trends in the development of acute myocardial infarction, heart failure, stroke and mortality in young men: the role of obesity and changes in health. Internal Medicine Journal..

Heart Failure and Stroke Are Increasing in Men Under 40, Find Studies

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