If you’re a 20-, 30-, or 40-something, you’re probably not too worried about having a heart attack. After all, only older, overweight people are at risk, right? Er, wrong.
In fact, according to research from Harvard Medical School, anywhere from four to 10 percent of the approximately 735,000 heart attacks that occur annually happen to those under 45. That number is comprised mostly of men, but guys aren’t the only ones who should be nervous. Heart disease (which can lead to a heart attack) is the number one killer of both men and women in the U.S., says Sindhu Koshy, M.D., a cardiologist with Ascension/Crittenton Hospital in Rochester, Michigan, with a whopping one in three women’s deaths attributed to the disease each year. What’s more, Koshy says the number of young people having heart attacks and strokes has been growing each year.