The head of the Cardiovascular Surgery Clinic in Floreasca about heart attacks in young patients: “It's a legend that was promoted more in the media”

The head of the Cardiovascular Surgery Clinic at the Floreasca Hospital in Bucharest, Dr. Horațiu Moldovan, claims that it is a myth that myocardial infarction occurs more often in young patients. The condition occurs more among the elderly, the doctor claims.

Heart attack among young adults, a controversial topic – Photo Archive

Doctor Horațiu Moldovan stated that the idea that myocardial infarction occurs more often in young people is “a myth“, “a legend” publicized in the public press space, according to G4Media.

It's a myth. Myocardial infarction is a complication of coronary artery disease, and this disease is a consequence of arteriosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a disease that generally characterizes old age. In men over 45, and in women after menopause. It is a legend that was propelled more in the media and in the public space long ago, before the impetuous development of prevention programs. It is a reality we faced 20 years ago, when cardiovascular disease prevention was less implemented at the population level“, said the doctor Horatiu Moldovan, in a television broadcast on Medika TV, on Thursday evening.

However, the doctor is contradicted by studies and even by colleagues in the guild. The head of the Cardiology Department at the University Hospital, doctor Dragoș Vinereanu, stated in an interview last September that heart attacks among young people are no longer an exception, but have become “rule“.

30 years ago, when I started cardiology with the academician Leonida Gerasim, I was doing doctoral papers, he evaluated, through some doctoral papers of my colleagues, heart attack in young people. Now what about doing doctoral theses, because that's the rule. We (University Emergency Hospital of Bucharest – nr) are on call for heart attacks on Thursday and out of 10-15 patients who come with heart attacks from Bucharest and the southern part of the country, half are under 45 years old. So, unfortunately, it has become the rule, it is no longer the exception“, said Dr. Dragoș Vinereanu, last year, according to the previously cited source.

The head of the Cardiovascular Surgery Clinic at Floreasca Hospital also claims that more and more programs are being developed and presented to reduce the risk of heart attack, but also that the treatment for this condition is effective.

Today, more and more programs to quit smoking, to diet, to control risk factors such as hypertension or diabetes are very much propelled in the population, as such the control of the incidence of coronary heart disease is much better. On the other hand, the treatment of coronary heart disease has gained a lot in recent years, myocardial infarction is today treated both in the world and in Romania, very effectively“, added Horațiu Moldovan.

What the studies say

Scientific research suggests that young adults, defined as people between the ages of 20 and 50, are increasingly experiencing heart problems compared to decades past. The main causes are related to lifestyle: unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, smoking, stress and others.

A 2019 study published in the American Journal of Medicine showed that of 2,000 young adults admitted for a heart attack between 2000 and 2016 in two US hospitals, one in five were 40 or younger, and that the proportion of this group it has grown by 2% each year recently.

Another research, published in March 2023 in JAMA Network, points to the rise of heart disease among younger adults in 2020 and 2021 to blame for 4% of the most recent declines in life expectancy in the US, reports National Geographic.

In Romania, one out of two people dies because of a cardiovascular disease, according to Conf. Univ. Dr. Alexandra Cucu, from the National Institute of Public Health. That's because cardiovascular diseases are the main cause of death in our country, with over 57% of all deaths registered at the national level. Moreover, every 30 minutes, a Romanian has a myocardial infarction, according to the Romanian Heart Foundation.