Cleveland-  Patients who suffer from heart disease are becoming younger and more obese throughout the years, according to a new study held by the Cleveland Clinic.

A new study on heart disease is being presented at the American College of Cardiology in this year’s 65th Annual Scientific Session. Researchers found an increasing number in heart disease patients, other findings showed that the suffering patients were more likely to have preventable symptoms such as high blood pressure, diabetes and were smokers.

The study reveals that having too much visceral fat may be more dangerous than obesity. Credit:

Dr. Samir Kapadia, a professor of medicine and interventional cardiologist at Cleveland Clinic was the primary investigator of the research. Kapadia and his team base the study in the analysis of heart disease risk factors among nearly 4,000 patients who were treated at the Cleveland Clinic  for the most deadly type of heart disease, known as ST-elevation myocardial infarction or STEMI.

The study analyzed the clinic’s record from two decades between the years of 1995 and 2014, STEMI patients suffer from this heart attack when the coronary artery is completely blocked and a large part of the heart muscle is unable to receive blood. This type of heart attack has a great risk of death.

But as in most of the heart diseases, there are existing risk factors for STEMI some of which can be controlled. Changes in lifestyle routines, quitting smoking, leading a healthy life and eating a heart-healthy diet are among the first risk factors reducers for STEMI patients.

When the team analyzed the data, the patients records were divided  into four groups each representing five years of the two decades being studied. When analyzing the results the Kapadia’s team found that throughout the years patients presenting STEMI were getting younger.

In the findings STEMI patients decreased the average age from 64 years old to just 60 between the first five years. The obesity rate also increased over this time period from 31 percent to 40 percent and the diabetes rates went from 24 to 31 percent. The high blood pressure rates went from 55 to 77 percent, patients database also showed chronic obstructive pulmonary disease from 5 percent to 12 percent.

The researchers also found that the smoking rates in patients increased from 28 to 46 percent. Also, the risk factors increased from 65 to 85 percent, which is surprising to doctors who thought prevention measurements had better through years.

“Prevention must be kept in the forefront of primary care. Cardiac health is not just dependent on the cardiologist. The primary care physicians and the patient need to take ownership of this problem” Said Dr. Kapadia.

Even though the study was only based in patients who attended Cleveland Clinic, it gives doctors a wider idea of how the population is responding to risk factors and heart diseases.

Source: CBS News