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Heart attack at 20?

By Anonymous April 19, 2009 - 9:21pm
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Hi, I was just wondering what the chances are of having a heart attack at 20 years old. I'm an Obese female with heart disease on both sides of my family along with diabetes. I've been having discomfort in the center of my chest and down my left arm and sometimes in my back. I have also been having trouble sleeping for the passed couple of weeks. Maybe it is just anxiety? Or is it even likely to be worried about my heart at the age of 20?

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EmpowHER Guest

yes!!! you should be check out asap!!! please!

April 6, 2010 - 5:28pm


I would like to echo Virginia's recommendation that you see your doctor as soon as you can about the symptoms you've been having.

Heart problems can occur at any age. While heart disease itself is usually found in older people due to the years that it takes to build up plaque in the arteries, you may be dealing with other heart issues that you don't yet know about. The fact that you also have determined that you are obese means your heart it working overtime to circulate blood throughout the body.

Do you smoke, by any chance? That also increases your risk factor, even though you are very young.

The good news is, you ARE very, very young. You may not feel that way because the extra weight is a burden (both physically and mentally) and because you aren't feeling well right now. But at 20, you have all the tools you need to fight this weight, get rid of it, and be healthy for the rest of your life.

Do you believe that your extra weight comes primarily from what you eat and your level of activity? Or should this also be a situation where you have your thyroid tested?

I want to applaud you for being aware right now, while you can do good things for yourself. Being aware of your genetic disposition toward heart disease and diabetes, you can actively work against getting them. Please see your doctor and ask for her or his help, and please come back to update us. You have a lot of support here.

April 24, 2009 - 3:21pm

Dear Anon, thank you for your question and I am glad you are seeking an answer to address your health concern. You said that you are obese, I will assume that you are at least 50 pounds over the recommended weight for your age, height and body frame. Obesity put you already on the high risk zone for heart disease. The second risk factor is a family history of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes has genetic links but many people with family history of diabetes do not necessarily develop the condition themselves when they maintain healthy life styles that include good nutrition, an excercise routine and normal weight. The symptoms that you describe could be a sign that your body is asking for help, I would not wait too long before seeing a doctor to ensure this is not a serious thing. Your anxiety and the facts about your symptoms are also creating a vicious cycle that will not help your heart either. Do not wait and have a doctor evaluate your heart. It is the most precious organ you have. Wish you well.

April 20, 2009 - 10:42pm
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