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What Are the Common Risk Factors of a Heart Attack?

Reduce your risk of a heart attack by learning about the most common risk factors.

By pixelheadphoto digitalskillet at Shutterstock

When it comes to the overall health of your heart – the strongest muscle in your body – knowledge is power. For many, the heart is an afterthought until something goes wrong. By then, the risk of a heart attack or heart disease has risen exponentially. You have to take good care of your heart and health today. If you wish to avoid a heart attack and live a long, comfortable life with your friends and family, understand the risk factors now.

Heart Attack Risk Factors

Medical professionals have undergone extensive research over the past few decades to better understand a person’s risk for coronary heart disease and heart attack. It is simple – the more risk factors you personally have, the greater the risk of a heart attack. Such risk factors can be further broken down into three categories: major risk factors, modifiable risk factors, and contributing risk factors. Let us look at all three.

Major Risk Factors

Everyone is born with specific factors that you simply cannot change, and the risk of a heart attack increases with each additional factor. Such factors include:

  • Age – Most people who suffer from a heart attack or die of coronary heart disease are over the age of 65.
  • Gender – Men are at greater risk of a heart attack than women, but women typically die more often due to heart-related trouble.
  • Heredity – Children whose parents suffer from heart-related disease and trouble are more likely to develop heart trouble themselves. Race, family history, and sex all play a role.

Modifiable Risk Factors

There are many modifiable risk factors, often major risk factors, that play a role in determining the overall risk for a heart attack. Such modifiable factors include:

  • Tobacco Usage – If you smoke or chew tobacco, your risk of a heart attack and heart disease increases greatly.
  • Cholesterol – High blood cholesterol levels are known to cause heart attack and disease at a higher rate. Your cholesterol levels are determined by age, sex, heredity, and diet.
  • Physical Activity – Your overall physical activity will play a significant role in your heart health. The more sedentary you are, the higher the risk. Cardio is great for heart health.

Contributing Risk Factors

There are many contributing factors throughout daily life that lead to reduced heart health. For instance:

  • Stress – Your response to stress may contribute to your risk of heart attack.
  • Alcohol – Drinking too much alcohol too often can lead to increased blood pressure, plus an increased risk of stroke, cancer, and heart disease.
  • Diet – Your diet can directly affect your overall heart health. A well-balanced diet can strengthen your heart and reduce your risk of heart disease and heart attack, while a poor diet can lead to trouble.

If you believe you are at risk for a heart attack, consider calling Brookhaven Heart, with locations in PatchogueNew Hyde Park, and Hicksville, New York. Our specialists take heart health seriously and aim to improve your overall health. Call now to speak with a heart specialist at 631-654-3278 to reduce your risk of a heart attack or other coronary complications.