12 Things That Could Cause Heart Attacks

Heart attack is a term that most of us are unfortunately familiar with. Most of us know someone who has suffered one before. Heart attacks occur when plaque buildup blocks blood flow to the heart.

About 850,000 people in the United States suffer from heart attacks annually, with the following factors at play…

1. Age 

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The risk of getting a heart attack increases with age, and as result, people over the age of 40 are more likely to suffer from it than younger generations. Typically, men over 45 and women over 55 account for the majority of cases.

Huffing and puffing for fun never really ends well…

2. Smoking

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Smoking is a leading risk factor for a multitude of diseases, especially heart attacks. This includes frequent first-hand smoking, prolonged exposure to secondhand smoke, and even third-hand smoking.

Our next factor is quite the killer itself…

3. High Blood Pressure

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When left undetected, long-term high blood pressure damages the arteries connected to the heart and causes plaque to build up and impede blood flow to the heart muscle. This eventually leads to a full-blown heart attack.

Paired with high blood pressure, heart attack risk increases with the following condition…

4. High LDL Levels 

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Having abnormally high levels of bad cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein) and triglycerides constricts arteries leading to the heart and eventually causes heart attacks.

In fact, this next factor is related to high LDL levels…

5. Obesity

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Obese individuals often suffer from high blood cholesterol/triglyceride levels, as well as high blood pressure. The latter usually occurs because obesity requires more blood to supply oxygen and nutrients to the body, which then increases blood pressure. 

Other health conditions can negatively impact your heart, too…

6. Diabetes 

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Diabetes is a chronic disease that can increase blood sugar levels. This puts the body at high risk for heart attacks, strokes, and other heart ailments.

The following is yet another syndrome that can result in a heart attack…

7. Metabolic Syndrome 

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Metabolic syndrome is a combination of multiple conditions: high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high LDL levels, and obesity. That said, it heightens your risk of developing heart disease and many other ailments, too.

Your risk of experiencing a heart attack could also be related to your genes…

8. Family History  

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People with a family history of heart attacks have a great chance of also experiencing one. Even worse, if the family has a long history of other comorbid health conditions, the heart attack risk can only increase.

If your body isn’t in shape, it might harm your heart…

9. Lack Of Physical Activity 

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While not a direct factor per se, what most people do not realize is that long periods of inactivity actually advance obesity and high blood cholesterol levels, both of which can eventually cause heart ailments. To reduce your risk, make sure to get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day.

While others manage this next cause well, some don’t have such luck…

10. Stress 

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Stress itself can’t directly cause a heart attack, but being in a constant state of stress might make a person vulnerable to one. Severe stress can increase blood pressure and affect any pre-existing cardiovascular diseases, so managing stress is critical for both mental and physical health.

Here’s another hobby you should try to avoid if you’re worried about your risk for heart attacks…

11. Illicit Drug Use

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Studies have shown that frequent usage of stimulant drugs like cocaine and amphetamines, may trigger a spasm in the coronary arteries which can then lead to a heart attack. Not only is drug use illegal, but it’s also dangerous, so avoid it at all costs.

The next cause is a bit painful and bothersome…

12. Autoimmune Conditions

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People who suffer from autoimmune diseases like psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, or lupus have a doubled risk of heart diseases like coronary artery disease. If you have an autoimmune disease, be sure to talk to your doctor about your risk for a heart attack.

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