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Heart failure deaths on the rise among younger adults

A sketch of the heart.

June 27, 2019—Death rates from heart failure are on the rise. And the increase is particularly prominent in adults younger than 65, according to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Researchers examined death records for adults 35 to 84 who died of heart failure over nearly a 20-year period. The condition occurs when a weakened heart can't pump enough blood to meet the body's needs. About 5.7 million U.S. adults have heart failure, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI).

The study's results showed that the rate of heart failure deaths has increased since 2012, especially among adults younger than 65. Black men in this age group saw the sharpest rise in early heart failure deaths.

At the same time, heart failure treatments have improved. So what could be driving this troubling trend? The twin troubles of obesity and diabetes, which have reached epidemic levels in the U.S., according to the researchers.

To reverse the trend, researchers recommend focusing on better controlling heart failure risk factors like obesity and diabetes.

According to the NHLBI, other risk factors for heart failure include heart disease and a history of heart attack.

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