Correlations between Lifestyle and Ischemic Heart Disease in Young Patient

PhD. Raluca IANULA (e-mail:
University “Carol Davila”, Bucharest, Romania

Myocardial infarction in young adults, an important public health issue, is a controversial topic with many issues left unknown. Although its prevalence is low, its consequences are disastrous, as it affects apparently healthy subjects who afterwards suffer important lifestyle changes with profound social, professional and medical implications. In this perspective, the thesis aims to analyze epidemiologic aspects regarding incidence, morbidity of myocardial infarction in young people (patients under 45 years) and correlation with traditional cardiovascular risk factors: tobacco use, effort, diet, dyslipidemia, obesity, hypertension, diabetes mellitus.
The present study is descriptive, longitudinal, ambispective: retrospective until 2004 and prospective for next 10 years, including all of the 122 patients consecutively admitted to the Cardiology Department of Bagdasar-Arseni Hospital, aged under 45 and diagnosed with AMI. These represented 9% of all patients with this diagnosis. Considering the time evolution, we can notice an alarming increase in incidence, statistically significant, (p<0,05), for the second half of the analysed time interval.
The most common cardiovascular risk factors are: smoking, dyslipidemia, obesity. Diabetes mellitus and hypertension remain risk factors specific for patients over 45 years. A significant number of young patients fulfilled the diagnostic criteria of metabolic syndrome .
Cigarette smoking is the dominant risk factor found in 88 % of patients. An increase in the incidence of smoking during the study is noticed. Dyslipidemia and obesity show a linear increase in the last decade. A statistically significant association between obesity – dyslipidemia – HTN- diabetes among young men with AMI is described . In correlation with these data, 70 % of patients enrolled in the study presented a high-calorie diet in the moment of enrollment, respectively, over 3000 kcal/day, and 63 % of the patients did not practice physical exercise (including walking, cycling, dancing, gardening) (9).
In conclusion, a worrying increase in young patients with AMI is noticed in recent years. The apparent causes are similar to those described in an elderly population, but their distribution is different. The main characteristic is an unhealthy lifestyle among youth: the overwhelming majority are smokers, sedentary and have a high-calorie diet, with a significant percentage meeting the criteria of metabolic syndrome .
Therefore, programs focusing on primary and secondary prevention should be a priority in Romania, since they could reshape the cardiovascular disease spectrum.

Keywords: epidemiology of cardiovascular disease in Romania, traditional cardiovascular risk factors (diet, obesity, dyslipidemia, hypertension , diabetes, inactivity, smoking), myocardial infarction in young

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Romanian Statistical Review 4/2015