Heart disease is a very general term that describes just about any problem with the structure or function of the heart.

In children and teens, structural changes that form before or just after birth are the most common cause of heart problems. In rare cases, these heart problems may be so severe that they cause serious consequences, or even a heart attack.

Less than 10 percent of all heart attacks occur in people under the age of 40. But the number of younger people having heart attacks is on the rise by about 1.7 percentTrusted Source more each year. This is mostly due to lifestyle factors such as substance abuse, dietary choices, and lack of exercise.

This article will review how heart disease can develop in teens. We’ll look at risk factors for a heart attack or sudden cardiac arrest, and how to help adolescents improve their heart health.

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