Younger patients needing bypass surgery?

TARZANA, Calif. At dinner a few months ago, 46-year-old Jim Carp thought he was suffering from indigestion. But it wouldn't go away.

"I started to break out in sweats and I realized that something was going wrong," said Jim. "Who would think somebody 46 years old would have a heart attack?"

Instead of calling 911, Jim's wife drove him to the emergency room, which could've been a fatal mistake. Thankfully, the physicians worked fast.

"They called for the cardiac arrest team and they began to work on me," said Jim.

"About 10 percent of the patients that we come to operate on, come to us at a surprisingly young age," said Dr. Mohammad Zadeh, Providence Tarzana Medical Center.

Dr. Zadeh says he is seeing more serious heart disease patients in their 30s, 40s and 50s. Many require surgery and most of the heart trouble seems to be due to the rising trend of obesity.

Young patients are often in denial. They mistake heart attack symptoms for other things. However, experts say in young men and women, signs can begin to show weeks before an actual cardiac event. Those symptoms include abdominal pain, jaw pain -- or even anxiety and vomiting.

Poor eating habits, lack of exercise and diabetes are all reasons for heart disease. But doctors say another reason we're seeing younger and younger people with heart attacks is stress. Unfortunately, Jim says it took a heart attack for him to start making changes.

"I watch what I eat ... I'm trying to lose some weight. I'm making an effort to stick around for my children," said Jim.



Copyright © 2023 KABC Television, LLC. All rights reserved.