7 Ways to Lower Your Risk of Heart Attack

How to Lower Risk of Heart Attack

About half of heart attacks happen to people who have “pumps” that look about as good as a healthy person–no big warning symptoms! Knowing some hidden/internal troubles or causes and several daily doses of prevention could save your heart. Here’s a review on at least seven hidden causes of heart trouble, and avoiding each.

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How to Reduce Risk of Heart Attack

Reduce heart attack risk with these tips. Reduce risk of heart attack NOW!

1.  Avoid dirty air or environment.

Follow air health warnings on the news. The invisible gas that results when exhaust and smoke stack fumes meet sunlight or hot weather can kill cardio cells, throw off your heartbeat, plus raise your odds for a heart attack even if you do not have heart disease.

  • Exercise indoors on high-ozone days to avoid exhaust-choked city streets.
  • Get out from behind diesel buses and trucks; their tailpipes spew chemicals and tiny particles that can inflame the lungs and arteries and rupture plaque buildups, thus encouraging blood clots and also boosting blood pressure.

2.  If you take a daily aspirin prescribed by your doctor, do not stop on your own.

Daily aspirin is prescribed to thin blood (helping prevent clots).  Be sure not to stop this without the permission of your doctor.

  • Caution: Stopping aspirin suddenly could triple your odds for dangerous clots within a week or two. If you’ve got surgery scheduled, have a careful talk with your doc now about the reasons for and against stopping your little aspirin tablets. Taper off as instructed.

3.  Get into good internal/ health condition.

Anything in your health history (and relatives’ health history) showing problems of high blood pressure, diabetes, and kidney function is a sign to ask your doctor:

  • Kidneys are a waste-disposal system, but in many adults–about 1 in 9 (more than 10%)–these hidden little filters aren’t working very well. In time, that triples your chances for heart problems because low kidney function stiffens the arteries and fires up lots of inflammation.
  • Get checked for high blood pressure and diabetes (which may have only minor symptoms).

4.  Consider your siblings’ heart and cardiovascular health as much your own.

We all recognize that having parents with early heart problems will up your chances, but did you know that a brother or sister with heart disease “before age 60 doubles your own odds of heart trouble”?

Tell your health care professional about this part of your family-tree.

5.  Give yourself extra TLC if you have psoriasis, lupus, or rheumatoid arthritis.

The scaly skin of psoriasis, the fatigue of lupus, and the joint pain of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) may seem unrelated to your heart but these are “inflammatory diseases” and can wreck havoc on your entire system including your heart. Keep inflammation (which packs plaque into your arteries) under control.

  • Psoriasis increases heart disease risk by nearly 80%.
  • Lupus doubles the normal risk (increases risk by 100%).
  • RA raises heart attack chances by 60%.
  • Gum disease: Also floss, brush, and swish as gum problems  fire up other internal inflammation, not just in your mouth but in your arteries.

6.  Strengthen your marriage and friendships.

You probably know that a cold or ragged marriage can lead to emotional then physical troubles.

Also, if your “friends” fit the description: “with friends like these, who needs enemies”–they up your heart risk by 25%.

7.  Use your vacation time.

Taking regular time off can cut your heart attack odds by almost a third. Yet 43% of Americans didn’t use all their vacation last year. Can’t swing a getaway right now? Do a “stay-at-home-cation.”

Fill up the tub, turn off your phone, get off the work computer, rent your favorite kinds of movies, take long walks, do or don’t cook (for more fun), relax a little and unwind. You will enjoy and your heart will love you for this.

Adapted from How to Avoid Hidden Causes of Heart Attacks.