Can you have a heart attack at 17?

Your heart is a muscle that’s important for pumping blood throughout your body. It can’t stop pumping when it stops working properly.

When your heart isn’t pumping blood effectively, you can get a heart attack.

A heart attack is a medical emergency. Call 911 or go to the hospital right away if you believe you’re having a heart attack.

Heart attacks happen when blood flow to your heart is blocked. It can happen when a plaque buildup in your arteries narrows your blood vessels.

Plaque buildup is also known as atherosclerosis. It can occur in your arteries even if you have no risk factors for heart disease.

A heart attack can also be caused by a blood clot.

Heart attack symptoms

Common heart attack symptoms don’t always appear right away.

You may not have any symptoms for several hours, a day or even longer.

Some symptoms may include:

  • Chest pain or pressure
  • A feeling of fullness in your chest
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Lightheadedness
  • Sweating
  • Fatigue
  • Cold sweats
  • Chills
  • Indigestion
  • Jaw pain
  • Fainting

Other symptoms may include:

  • A feeling of tightness in your chest
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Heartburn

If you think you may be having a heart attack, stop what you’re doing and call 911 or go to the hospital right away.

What causes a heart attack at age 17?

The exact cause of a heart attack is still unknown. Some risk factors, such as family history and high blood pressure, are passed down from generation to generation.

People who have a history of heart disease, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol are at an increased risk for a heart attack.

According to the American Heart Association, this is because this type of artery disease can occur after people have a heart attack.

Risk factors for heart attack include:

  • Smoking
  • Overweight and obesity
  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • High blood sugar
  • Stress
  • Physical inactivity
  • Family history of heart disease
  • A diet rich in processed foods
  • Too much alcohol
  • Regular use of illegal drugs

Certain heart attack risk factors may be inherited.

Heart disease is rare at age 17, but it’s something to be aware of. If you have any of these risk factors, you should talk to your doctor.

How is a heart attack at age 17 diagnosed?

Your doctor will ask about your family history and do a physical exam.

They’ll also check your:

  • Heart rate
  • Blood pressure
  • Blood sugar level
  • Pulse

If needed, they may use an EKG to check your heart rate.

If you have risk factors for heart disease, your doctor may want to check your blood sugar level and cholesterol levels.

You may also need tests of your:

  • Blood count
  • Liver function
  • Blood urea nitrogen (BUN)
  • Creatinine
  • Electrolytes

What are the treatments for a heart attack at age 17?

Treatment depends on the severity of your condition. The treatment may include:

  • Antibiotics for a bacterial infection
  • Oral blood thinners to prevent blood clots
  • Blood thinners to prevent blood clots
  • Pain relievers to ease pain
  • Heart surgery

If you have a heart attack, your doctor may also do an angioplasty or coronary artery bypass surgery.

What’s the long-term outlook for a heart attack at age 17?

You may not have any symptoms for a long time. However, a heart attack can cause long-term health risks.

You may have a stroke if you’re not treated right away.

If you have any risk factors for heart disease, you may have a heart attack at a younger age. High blood pressure and high cholesterol levels are risk factors.

Also, having a heart attack at a younger age may increase your risk of developing heart disease later in life.

If you’re over the age of 18, you should also see your doctor regularly.

What’s recovery like for a heart attack at age 17?

The sooner you go to the hospital for treatment, the sooner you can start feeling better.

If you have a heart attack, you may have shortness of breath, chest pain, and pain in your jaw or neck.

If so, you may also notice a change in your heart rhythms.

These changes may last for hours or even days. You should let your doctor know if you feel any of these symptoms.

You may have some of these symptoms after your heart attack is over. These may include:

  • Stomach pain
  • Chest pain
  • Nauseas

Your doctor may also want to take blood tests to check for blood clots.

These tests may include:

  • Electrocardiogram (EKG)
  • Chest X-ray
  • Blood tests to check for blood clotting factors

You may have to treat some of these symptoms and treat any blood clots if they’re present.

If you’re having a heart attack, a doctor may also want to perform angiography tests. This is an imaging test that helps your doctor see how your blood vessels look.

Angiography is used to detect blood clots or other problems in your arteries.

You may also have tests to check your blood sugar levels.

What’s recovery for heart attack at age 17 like?

Your doctor will let you know when you can leave the hospital.

Depending on the severity of your condition, you may be able to go home after 24 hours.

You may need to stay in the hospital for several days to have long-term treatment.

Your doctor may also prescribe:

  • Pain relievers
  • Blood thinners
  • Antibiotics
  • Anti-clotting drugs

You may also need to take steps to help prevent blood clots. These include:

  • Weight loss
  • Exercise
  • Smoking cessation
  • Treatment for high blood pressure and high cholesterol

Your doctor also may prescribe blood thinners to prevent blood clotting.

You may also need to take medications to treat any heart disease. These include:

  • High blood pressure medications
  • Cholesterol medications

Your doctor will monitor your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. This is to make sure that you’re taking the right medication.

Your doctor may also order an EKG to check your heart rhythm, or check your blood sugar levels again.

The healthiest recovery for a heart attack at age 17 is with treatment and lifestyle changes.

You may need to take steps to prevent future heart disease and stroke. These include:

  • Losing weight
  • Eating a heart-healthy diet

Over to you

If you’ve had heart attack, you may be able to have a heart attack at a younger age. This is known as having a “heart attack at a younger age.” There are some things you can do to help you recover.

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