Heart problem cases increasing in young adults

Heart specialists are seeing more young patients with a variety of heart issues. Jim Neel, M.D., FACS, cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon, joined KOTV - News on 6 to explain what kinds of issues young people are experiencing and how they can be prevented or managed with lifestyle changes and medication.

Dr. Neel said that the age range of patients who typically experience heart issues is trending younger.

"We would traditionally see patients in the 50s, 60s and 70s but now we're seeing patients in their 30s and 40s," said Dr. Neel. "Heart disease is something that takes years, if not decades to develop. If you maintain good exercise, a healthy diet, lose some weight, keep your blood pressure, sugar and cholesterol under control, you can avoid some of these issues."

Dr. Neel said you should see a doctor for exercise-related discomfort or shortness of breath related to everyday activities. To prevent heart issues, Dr. Neel recommends paying attention to your diet and exercise, quitting smoking, and seeing your doctor consistently, especially if you have a family history of cardiac issues.

You watch the full interview here: