7/16/02- Heart Smart

A heart attack at 20? It doesn't sound very likely, but the American Heart Association is now calling for young adults, as young as 20 to start being heart smart. The American Heart Association says it's just never too soon to prevent heart disease, that's why people so young should be checked out. But, it's news some young people aren't too surprised they should take.

20-year-old Stacy Stringfellow says, "It's better soon than never." That's what the American Heart Association thinks, urging young people to go to the doctor, to save themselves from heart disease. 20-year-old Brandon Talent says, "A lot of people are kind of having it occur at an earlier age than previous years, so it's probably a good idea." "I know I have had a lot of unhealthy eating habits and lack of exercise," Stringfellow says. "I don't worry about it as much as I should, but as a 20 year old the thought that I may have a problem worries me."

27-year-old John Barrett says, "I don't think it's a surprise when you hear about the health concerns and how people are eating these days." The advice isn't a surprise to those who have a family history of heart problems. 26-year-old Melissa Stratton says, "I think about it mainly because of what has happened as far as my family history. I guess a lot of 20 yea

The new risk factor screening includes having your blood pressure, body mass index, waist circumference and pulse recorded every two years, and a cholesterol profile and glucose testing done every five years. These are all huge factors in risk for heart disease and keeping them in check at an early age can be much easier than trying to fix them later in life. But what's yet too be seen is if young people will take that advice to heart. "It's something you put on the back burner until something more serious happens," Barrett says. "I know it's not the way to go about things, until it's too late, then you learn your lesson when you die."

For more information go to www.americanheart.org