After 40 years, the risk of heart attacks and strokes increases by 10 times, especially in men

Stroke and myocardial infarction are the leading cause of death for people around the world. To identify the risks of cardiovascular accidents, experts from the American Heart Association turned to data from the British Biobank. This database contains information about the health of half a million people in the United Kingdom. The focus of the attention of cardiologists from the United States was about 300 thousand people aged 40 to 69 years, who were monitored in the period from 2006 to 2010. 

At the start of the follow-up, none of the participants had any problems with the heart and vascular health, and their blood pressure and cholesterol levels were normal. The volunteers were also examined to find 68 gene variants, the presence of which increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

During the follow-up period, participants had 1954 strokes and 3792 heart attacks. After analyzing the data, the experts were able to identify the main trends and risk factors for the development of cardiovascular disasters: 

  • In the period from 40 to 60 years, the probability of developing heart attacks and strokes increases more than 10 times. So, at the age of 40, the proportion of people who had a heart attack or stroke was 1:800, at 50 years-1:220, and at 60 years-1:76.
  • The presence of predisposition genes increases the chances of developing heart attacks/strokes by 22% in people with intermediate-risk and by 52% in people with high genetic risk.
  • The risk of cardiovascular accidents in men was three times higher than in women.
  • A combination of factors such as high genetic risk and being male increased the likelihood of developing a heart attack/stroke by four times. 

According to experts, the data obtained will help develop new prevention strategies that will allow pre-emptive measures to be taken in people with a high risk of heart attacks/strokes in advance. 

Feb. 13, 2020, 11:17 a.m.

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