Young women experiencing rise in heart attacks

UMMC doctor blames vaping, marijuana use on rise in heart attacks in young women

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - More than 800,000 Americans are hit with heart attacks each year. Now a new study shows younger woman account for 30 percent of them.

One Jackson cardiologist warns that when it comes to heart attacks, age doesn’t matter.

Dr. Myrna Nickens is the Associate Professor of Medicine at UMMC. She says the study doesn’t surprise her.

“This study, the ARIC Study, shows that we need to start earlier. We need to look earlier. Traditionally, women usually have heart disease after menopause, but this study is so important because it is even before menopause."

Dr. Nickens points to multiple risk factors such as diabetes and obesity that contributes to the spike in heart attacks among young women.

“Other problems we are seeing among teens [are] vaping, smoking marijuana. We think it is so great, but it is not. We have to be careful with that as well. It has an impact upon our cardiovascular health."

Here’s what you can do to protect yourself against this life threatening disease.

“Avoiding a high sugar diet, avoiding a high sodium diet early on in life, so that way it won’t catch up with you later in life."

Above all else, Dr. Nickens wants you to remember one important thing about heart disease: It is treatable!

“This is a treatable illness and a livable illness. It is not the end of your life, but it is something that can be treated."

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