Health > Heart Attack > Risk Factors
Risk Factors of Heart Attack
Every week, something or someone reminds us to look after our health ? especially our heart! Do we listen? No! We just carry on as normal. We carry on smoking, drinking, eating badly and avoiding exercise. Our eating habits are particularly bad. It?s never been easier to eat healthily, but most of us just carry on eating the same old rubbish. This unwillingness to change, is a fundamental cause of most heart-attacks.
Family History - Your risk is higher if any of your immediate family members (grandparents, parents or siblings) have had heart disease or a stroke.
Age - Your risk of both heart disease and stroke rises as you get older. The risk for men increases after age 45 and womens after 55.
Gender - Men are more likely to develop heart disease at an earlier age than women. Yet more women than men die from heart disease and stroke.
Smoking - Smoking greatly increases the risk of fatal and nonfatal heart attacks in both men and women. It also increases the risk of a second heart attack among survivors. Women who smoke and use oral contraceptives have an even greater risk than smoking alone. The good news is that quitting smoking greatly reduces the risk of heart attack. One year after quitting, the risk drop to about one-half that of current smokers and gradually returns to normal in persons without heart disease. Even among persons with heart disease, the risk also drops sharply one year after quitting smoking and it continues to decline over time but the risk does not return to normal.
Stress - Heart disease has often been identified with certain personality patterns. It is labelled as personality disease or a high executive disease, that is, it strikes persons with a certain personality. A certain study has shown that there was four times as much coronary disease among aggressive type of individuals.
High blood pressure - High blood pressure increases your chance for getting heart disease or kidney disease, and for having a stroke. High blood pressure makes the heart work harder. For prevent or control high blood pressure, diet and lifestyle changes, including regular exercise, stress management and self-monitoring with a home blood pressure device, medication, can be used to control and bring down the blood pressure with no side effects.
High blood cholesterol - Your blood cholesterol level has a lot to do with your chances of getting heart disease. High blood cholesterol is one of the major risk factors for heart disease. A risk factor is a condition that increases your chance of getting a disease. In fact, the higher your blood cholesterol level, the greater your risk for developing heart disease or having a heart attack. High blood cholesterol itself does not cause symptoms, so many people are unaware that their cholesterol level is too high.
Diet - We cannot survive without fat in our diet. However, most of us make 2 big mistakes. We eat too much fat in total and too much saturated fat in particular. As a result, we greatly increase our chances of developing heart-attacks and strokes.
Diabetes - Cardiovascular disease is the most common and most serious complication of diabetes, increasing your risk of heart attack and stroke. You can reduce this risk by managing your blood sugar and blood pressure, controlling blood fats (cholesterol), making healthy lifestyle changes and, perhaps, taking medication. Keeping your blood sugar levels within optimal ranges can prevent or delay blood vessel damage.
Overweight - Being overweight is usually a sign that you are eating too many high-fat or high-sugar foods. It also increases your risk of developing high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes-each of which also increases your chance of having a heart attack.
Inactive lifestyle - The risk of heart attack increases if you are physically inactive or you lead a sedentary lifestyle. Physical activity improves cholesterol levels, helps control high blood pressure and diabetes, and keeps weight under control. It also increases physical fitness, promotes psychological well-being and self-esteem, and reduces depression and anxiety.