According to the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, the following risk factors have the potential to trigger a heart attack:
High blood cholesterol
Cholesterol is found in our blood as LDL (the bad cholesterol) and HDL (the good cholesterol). Having a high level of LDL level means that you are at a higher risk of developing a blood clot.
High blood pressure
Also known as hypertension, high blood pressure can block or burst arteries that supply blood to your vital organs, like your heart. This can cause chest pain and at worse, it can lead to heart failure or a heart attack.
High triglyceride levels
Triglycerides measure the amount of fat present in your blood. High levels of triglycerides has been linked to higher risk of coronary artery disease.
Diabetes is unfortunately a relatively common and serious disease. It comes from a lack of insulin production from the body, or when the insulin is not properly utilized. Insulin is the hormone needed to covert sugar (glucose) into energy for your body cells. The lack of insulin production causes glucose to build up excessively in your blood.
Family history of early heart disease is an extremely relevant risk factor. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), if your father or brother has had a heart attack before the age of 55, or if your mother or sister had one before the age of 65, you are at high risk of contracting heart disease. Being informed about your family’s medical history is a good way to understand which medical screenings you should take.
Being sedentary is very detrimental to your health. Being physically active is key in maintaining a healthy life.
Being overweight has a huge impact on your health. It is partly related to cholesterol and triglycerides as mentioned previously. It is likely that the level of these is higher in overweight or obese individuals. Moreover, stomach fat can produce inflammatory substances and blood vessels inflammations which can increase the risk of cardiac disease.
Smoking takes a huge toll on your health and especially on your heart. Aside from dramatically increasing your risk of getting lung cancer, tobacco smoking accounts for approximately 20% of all heart disease-related deaths and increases your risk many folds of a host of cardiac diseases ranging from strokes to aneurysms. Quitting smoking or not starting to begin with is probably the best thing you can do to maintaining a healthy heart.
Overdose of drugs or alcohol
The stress you put on your body through consuming drugs or alcohol in high levels is dangerous and potentially lethal. Several overdose cases have resulted in fatal heart attacks. Don’t do drugs.
An overload of stress can potentially cause arrhythmias of the heart that can lead to more serious conditions.
We hope you keep these risk factors in mind and optimize your lifestyle to maintain a healthy heart!