Knowledge is power, so get a handle on the risks you face right away.
Many studies have identified factors that affects one’s risk of a heart attack. If someone has multiple factors then we can say that there is a bigger chance of having a coronary heart disease in the future. Coronary heart disease is a simple term to explain plaque building in the coronary arteries which can lead to heart attack.
Risk factors consisted of:
- Major risk factors
- Changeable risk factors
- Additional risk factors
The main risk factors on the list are hereditary and unchangeable.
Most people who died of a heart attack are over 65 years old.
Males have a higher risk of heart attack compared with women and usually at an earlier onset. At menopause, the number of deaths in female increased but still lower than in male.
- Family history
People with family history of coronary hear disease and/or heart attack are more likely to develop similar diseases.
Because we cannot control out sex, age, and family history, it is even more important to note the risk factor we can alter such as:
Smokers have a higher risk or coronary disease compared to others. In fact, smoking is a single independent factor for sudden coronary death. Exposure to smoke also increases the risk compared to non smokers.
High Cholesterol Level
The higher the cholesterol level, the higher also the risk for coronary heart disease. Along with other factors like hypertension and smoking, the risk is even greater.
Hypertension will increase the heart’s workload and cause the heart muscles to thicken and stiffen. Combined with obesity, smoking, high cholesterol level, or diabetes, then the risk of coronary heart disease is great.
A sedentary lifestyle is one of the risk factor for coronary heart disease. Regular physical activity will help decrease the risk. Even moderate exercise is also beneficial if done regularly and continuously.
Overweight and Obesity
People with excess fat especially in the abdomen area, are more possible to have heart disease and stroke even if they do not have other risk factors. Losing weight even only 3-5% can significantly lessen triglyceride, blood glucose, and risk of diabetes. More weight loss will affect blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood glucose.
Diabetes increases the risk. Even with controlled blood sugar, diabetes has increase the risks for heart disease and stroke. Even more in cases with uncontrollable blood glucose level. At least 68% people over 65 years old and with diabetes die of heart attack.
Besides those risks factors, there are also other additional factors such as:
Individual response to stress can be a factor because stress can affect a person’s existing risks factors.
Drinking alcohol too much can increase blood pressure, risks of heart disease and contribute to high triglyceride and arryhtmias.
Diet and nutrition
A healthy diet is the most important weapon in combating heart disease. Choose food rich in citamins, minerals, and fiber. Limit sweet drinks and red meat.
Keep reading. Stay fit.
dr. Fiona Esmeralda, MM