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Am J Med. 2014 Feb;127(2):140-4. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2013.09.025. Epub 2013 Oct 15.

Clinical features of precocious acute coronary syndrome.

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  • 1Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Ill. Electronic address:
  • 2Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Ill.
  • 3Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tenn.



Acute coronary syndrome due to acute plaque rupture has been well described and is associated with established risk factors, including hypertension, diabetes mellitus, hyperlipidemia, and smoking. The prevalence of these risk factors in very young patients (aged ≤35 years) is not well known, and they may have other nontraditional risk factors. We hypothesized that acute coronary syndrome in very young patients may represent a thrombotic event independent of underlying atherosclerotic disease.


We performed a dual-institution, retrospective study of consecutive patients aged ≤35 years who presented with acute coronary syndrome and underwent coronary angiography from January 2000 to December 2011. Standard demographics, risk factors, and detailed angiographic information were obtained.


A total of 124 patients met inclusion criteria. The mean age was 31 ± 4 years for both sexes. Approximately half (49%) of the patients were obese (body mass index ≥30 kg/m(2)); 90% of patients had at least 1 traditional risk factor, most commonly hyperlipidemia (63%) and smoking (60%); 52% of patients underwent re-vascularization, of which 94% were by percutaneous coronary intervention, and 42.9% of patients had intracoronary thrombus, of whom approximately one third had no detectable underlying coronary disease.


Very young patients with acute coronary syndrome tend to be obese, with a high prevalence of smoking and hyperlipidemia. The presence of thrombus in the absence of underlying coronary disease suggests a thromboembolic event or de novo thrombotic occlusion, which may reflect primary hemostatic dysfunction in a considerable number of these patients.

Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Acute coronary syndrome; Hypercoagulability; Thrombosis

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