WEST PALM BEACH (CBS12) — Heart attack patients are getting younger and more obese, according to new research from the Cleveland Clinic.
Experts say the results of the Cleveland clinic study are surprising and worrisome.
The average age of a heart attack patient is decreasing from 64 to 60 years old and is more obese.
That's according to researchers at the Cleveland Clinic who looked at heart disease risk factors in almost 4000 patients.
Dr. David Weisman, a cardiologist at Good Samaritan Medical Center, isn't surprised by the findings.
"We are definitely seeing young patients that suffer from heart disease and heart attacks at a younger age," said Weisman. "Obviously, we talk to them about their risk factors."
Researchers say despite increased awareness the results showed a significant increase in the number of patients who have three or more preventable risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes and smoking.
"The smoking thing is something we always talk to our patients about," said Weisman. "Trying to quit smoking can be very difficult, especially if you are not in an environment that is conducive to that and obviously smoking affects the heart and a lot of other organs."
Patients need to be more proactive in reducing their heart disease risk.
The study carries an important health message for both patients and doctors.