Young adults and MI

  1. Ok so I would like to adress a very disturbing issues...I dont know if you guys heard about the death of an actress Britanny Murphy at a young age of 32 that happend today. According to sources she died of cardiac arrest...now I have heard from numerous sources that young people are less likely to survive heart attacks than older adults..but I cant figure out why?? What is wrong with the mechanics of young peoples heart that leads to lethal MI? Any thoughts?? So sad to hear such terrible news right before Christmas-the time of joy
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  3. by   Spotty44
    I believe it has to do with collateral circulation. An older individual is going to have more collateral circulation (angiogenesis in response to decreased blood flow or increased demand on the heart...someone correct me if I'm wrong) which will make surviving a heart attack more likely, while a younger individual might not.

    It is very sad...I have a college friend that died earlier this year of a massive heart attack. She was 31. She left a husband and two children
  4. by   Anne36
    I was so upset to read that on the news tonight. Does anyone know if she had heart problems or if this was just random? Very surprising.
  5. by   melmarie23
    I think it was random and I wouldn't be surprised if it was drug abuse related. There have been reports that she was addicted to coke at the beginning of this year and her weight loss was a result of that addiction (just looking at her pics, she looked extremely underweight)
  6. by   iteachob
    This reminds me of when Karen Carpenter died (that shows MY age)....she and Brittany Murphy both had well known eating disorders. She may have had major electrolyte issues.

    Just a thought.
  7. by   Blackheartednurse
    Quote from Anne36
    I was so upset to read that on the news tonight. Does anyone know if she had heart problems or if this was just random? Very surprising.
    Do you guys think it was do to her dieting problems?? Did you guys notice how much weight she lost recently? She was always lil chubby but I watched a movie with her and she appeared so thin..yeah she looked great but still? I heard that extreme dieting my cause heart problems..I know that one of the actress who died because she wanted loose weight
  8. by   Freedom42
    Cardiac arrest is not necessarily the result of an MI. I haven't seen any reporting at this point that suggests she had a heart attack. Very sad.
  9. by   Emergency RN
    older patients generally suffer from coronary artery disease, generally as the result of a lifetime of plaque buildup, which decreases oxygenated blood flow to the heart itself. they generally suffer from cardiac muscle death as the heart is deprived of oxygen by a blockage or clot. this is the classical myocardial infarction (meaning heart muscle cell death) or what we shorthand as mi.

    younger patient's generally die from sudden cardiac death, usually brought on by rhythm or electrical disturbances, that causes the heart to stop pumping. the heart muscles at the time are generally full of oxygen but somehow the heart just stops beating. generally, the electrical conduction that regulates perpetuation of heart rhythm is in a state of disarray. this is known as cardiac arrest.

    *** sidebar *** further, in young patients with diet issues, potassium regulation is generally very precarious. that alone can trigger a potentially lethal rhythm.

    it's a narrow distinction to be sure. but one generally will bring on the other (no matter which is first). an extensive mi can be followed by cardiac arrest, and cardiac arrest is soon followed by heart muscle dying as no more oxygenated blood reaches it.

    and yes, it is sad when someone so young, cashes in so early.
    Last edit by Emergency RN on Dec 20, '09
  10. by   GilaRRT
    Yeah, MI does not equal cardiac arrest and visa versa. I am not sure why people continue to fail to make the distinction? We have no idea what killed Mrs. Murphy and an investigation will likely tell us the probable cause. In someone this young unnatural causes must be ruled out.
  11. by   roser13
    I think it's way too early to dissect the death of a celebrity. Who knows what factors played into the death?

    To attempt to make a connection between Brittany Murphy's death and young-onset MI would be a mistake, in my book.
  12. by   celclt
    her husband declined an autopsy, lloks like the med examiner is proceeding tho- very sad! I agree, seems to be suspicious of drug or eating disorder related..her mother found her in the shower and stated she had a hx of diabetes...
  13. by   ~Mi Vida Loca~RN
    I haven't read all the comments yet, so I am probably repeating, I would venture to guess that the autopsy is going to associate this to Drug abuse (my guess is cocaine) or anorexia nervosa. Either of those conditions can cause a lot of problems with the heart and she was linked to both, the husband is now really pushing to NOT have an autopsy, they will do one regardless. But we aren't talking about 32 year old healthy hearts here if this is the case. We are talking about young people doing so much damage to their hearts they might as well have the heart of someone much older with cardiac disease.
  14. by   ~Mi Vida Loca~RN
    Quote from Blackheartednurse
    Do you guys think it was do to her dieting problems?? Did you guys notice how much weight she lost recently? She was always lil chubby but I watched a movie with her and she appeared so thin..yeah she looked great but still? I heard that extreme dieting my cause heart problems..I know that one of the actress who died because she wanted loose weight
    I wouldn't say she has ever been a little chubby. In Clueless was probably the most I have ever seen her weigh, and that was what 15-16 years ago or so. Pretty much since then she has always been extremely thin.

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