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HEART ATTACKS ARE ON THE RISE IN YOUNG PEOPLE, ESPECIALLY WOMEN.

Shawn Sherlock thought she was in great health when she had a heart attack in January 2017 at age 44.

Shawn Sherlock thought she was in great health when she had a heart attack in January 2017 at age 44.

While deaths due to heart disease had been decreasing steadily, those improvements plateaued recently and researchers may now know at least part of the reason why: Heart attacks are on the rise in younger people, especially women.

Between 1995 and 1999, 27 percent of those hospitalized for heart attacks were between the ages of 35 and 54, a new study found. Between 2010 and 2014 that number had climbed to 32 percent, with heart attacks in women showing the greatest increase, rising from 21 to 31 percent, according to a study published Tuesday in Circulation (and early online in November).

During the same time period, heart attacks also rose in younger men, but not as quite as dramatically: In men between 35 and 54, heart attacks climbed from 30 percent to 33 percent. While the percentage of heart attacks occurring in young men went up during the 20 years covered by the study, the actual number of heart attack in men in this age group went down. Young women did not see a similar decline, the researchers reported.