UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Cardiology

Title: young patients and CAD

Keywords: coronary artery disease, young, acute coronary syndromes (PubMed Search)

Posted: 3/18/2012 by Amal Mattu, MD (Updated: 12/7/2021)
Click here to contact Amal Mattu, MD

How likely is coronary artery disease to occur in young patients?
An autopsy series in US communities evaluated young patients (avg age 36 years old) who died of "non-natural" causes revealed coronary atherosclerosis in > 80% of the autopsy sample, with 8% having significant obstructive disease.

The bottom line is simple....be wary of discounting the risk of ACS purely based on a patient's age. The HPI is the most important factor in predicting ACS.

References

Nemetz PN, et al. Recent trends in the prevalance of coronary disease: a population-based autopsy study of nonnatural deaths. Arch Intern Med 2008;168:264-270.

Arbab-Zadeh A, et al. Acute coronary events. Circulation 2012;125:1147-1156.