NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Heart Attack Death Rates Rose Among Younger Americans In The 1990s

March 5, 2001

In the 1990s, the death rate from cardiac arrest rose surprisingly among young adults in the United States, officials say.

Researchers believe a major reason for the increase is the epidemic of obesity, along with increased smoking and drug abuse, particularly cocaine, which can trigger cardiac arrest. Doctors from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted the first-ever survey of cardiac arrest in people ages 15 to 34.

  • The number of fatal cardiac arrests in this age group rose from 2,710 in 1989 to 3,000 in 1996.
  • The death rate was 10 percent higher in men and 32 percent in women.
  • In all, 23,320 young adults died, almost three-quarters of them men.

Source: "Cardiac arrest hitting younger Americans," USA Today, March 5, 2001.


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