Heart Attack: 8 Common Risk Factors That You Must Not Ignore

According to the reports of the American Heart Association, heart attacks and cardiac arrests remain a public health crisis.

Heart Attack: 8 Common Risk Factors That You Must Not Ignore
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THE INTERNET is flooded with viral videos and news of people dying due to heart attacks. The popular social media platform, Twitter is flooded with tweets on heart attacks in the wake of the rise in heart attack cases in the country recently. Viral news including Lucknow bride collapsing in her wedding due to a heart attack, a man sitting for prayer at a Madhya Pradesh temple suffering a heart attack and dying, a youth dying of heart attack while walking with friends and many more have put the internet on fire. Let's understand why this sudden rise in heart attacks in the country is taking place.

Cardiovascular diseases are one of the leading causes of death worldwide. According to World Health Organization (WHO) estimates, cardiovascular diseases are estimated to take 17.9 million lives each year. Heart attacks are medical emergencies that occur due to blocked flow of blood and oxygen to the heart. This blocked flow of blood and oxygen supply leads to damage to heart muscles leading to a heart attack. The American Heart Association recommends focusing on early heart disease prevention in life. One should assess their risk factors and work on them to prevent a heart attack condition. The sooner one identifies his/her risk factors, the better the chances to protect yourself from heart attacks and lead a heart-healthy life.

Common Risk Factors Of Heart Attack The One Should Never Ignore

1. Age

According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, adults of age 65 or older are more prone than younger people to suffer from cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attack or stroke. With increasing age, the body witness changes in the heart and blood vessels which can put an individual at high risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

2. Gender

According to research conducted by Journal JAMA Internal Medicine, 'Lifelong Gender Gap in Risk of Incident Myocardial Infarcation', men are at a higher risk of suffering a heart attack than women. The study suggests that smoking and excessive workout leads to more heart attack cases in men than women.

3. Genetics

Any individual with a family history of heart attack or any other cardiovascular disease makes you more prone to developing cardiovascular diseases than other people. A genetic variation can change the way in which a particular protein in the body processes cholesterol.

4. High Blood Cholesterol

The low levels of HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol put an individual at a greater risk of suffering a heart attack. On the other hand, triglycerides, which are one of the most common types of fat in the body, when their high levels combined with low HDL or high LDL cholesterol, can result in the build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries, thus increasing the risk of heart attacks.

5. High Blood Pressure

According to the American Heart Association, high blood pressure also known as 'Hypertension' can cause a heart attack. Popularly known as the 'silent killer', high blood pressure is associated with no symptoms and is a medical condition in which the pressure of the blood in the arteries and other blood vessels becomes too high which if not controlled, can affect the heart and other major parts of the body.

6. Obesity

According to the British Heart Foundation, being obese or excess weight can lead to deposition and build-up of fatty material in the arteries of the heart. Individuals who are obese or overweight require more blood to supply oxygen and nutrients to different parts of the body which leads to a significant increase in blood pressure. As mentioned above, high blood pressure is among one of the top causes of a heart attack.

7. Physical Inactivity

As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, lack of physical exercise or activity can lead to the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, even for people who have no other risk factors or symptoms. A physically inactive individual tends to be more prone to obesity, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol and type 2 diabetes.

8. Stress

Stress can increase the risk of developing heart disease according to the University of Rochester Medical Center. Stress is a normal part of our life, however constant stress can hamper your health and make you prone to numerous diseases. Many studies suggest that high levels of cortisol generated from long-term stress can trigger high blood cholesterol, blood pressure, triglycerides and blood sugar levels in the body which are known to be the common risk factors for heart diseases.

Some other risk factors that contribute to heart attack are alcohol consumption, smoking, sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy diet, drug addiction, steriod usage etc. 

(Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment.)

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