Heart attacks can occur at any age. There are no specific age-groups which are the prime targets. However, it is also true that there are certain age groups that are more susceptible to heart attacks. Older people, with a weaker physiological structure are more risk prone than younger people since their bodies have suffered greater wear and tear. As is always the case, your fitness lever, diet and present weight can be a major deciding factor when it comes to heart attacks.
Statistics collected, though generally from the United States, often are divided into different categories – General, Women, Senior Citizens, Young people etc. This helps to get a fair idea of how the different age groups fare when it comes to being susceptible to heart attacks.
Many people feel that if a person has survived the heart attack, all is well. But, the reality is that the body is in a highly weakened state following a heart attack and the chances of a second heart attack dramatically increase. It has been recorded that, statistically, around 18% men & 23% women die within a year of suffering the first heart attack. This was observed in the age group 40 and above. If we extrapolate the age to 5 more years, then the percentage jumps up to 33% and 43% respectively.
Statistically it has been observed that men are the primary victims of heart attacks but women are more prone to die if they survive the first heart attack. The observed factors for the same are high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels.
On an average, a woman has her first heart attack at the age of around 70 years. But the graph goes drastically north after this. Also, surprisingly, there are close to 20000 women below the age of 45 who are admitted to a hospital every year in the U.S.
As we mentioned earlier, women over 65 are likely to suffer heart attacks, with close to 370000 women admitted each year. What was an interesting fact in the survey was the high number of women suffering high blood pressure. This number is around 21 million.
Though rare, heart attacks do happen to the young and healthy too. For e.g. a survey in Australia concluded that 0.13% of severe heart attacks occurred in men aged 15-24. This steadily increased and registers a sharp northward curve when we reach 45 years of age.
As we can see from the above statistics, heart attacks can happen to anyone and happen anywhere. The best possible course is to exercise regularly, eat healthy and live a happy stress free life.