Heart health in younger adults not improving

FATAL coronary heart disease (CHD) rates remain unchanged in younger adults, highlighting the need for a renewed emphasis on primary prevention in these patients, Australian experts say.

An analysis of age and sex-specific population trends in fatal and non-fatal first CHD events in West Australian residents free of CHD aged 35–84 years, found divergent trends in CHD rates between older and younger patients.

Overall age-adjusted rates of fatal CHD fell in the 55–69 and 70–84 age brackets in both men and women, falling by 6% or more annually. 

In contrast, fatal first CHD rates remained unchanged in younger men and women aged 35–54, but were rare, with an incidence of 0.1% annually for men.

A similar trend was mirrored in the incidence of non-fatal CHD, with rates actually increasing in women aged 35–54 years by 2.5% annually.

Lead author Tom Briffa, an associate professor in