Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: Anyone can have a heart attack, even the young people although it's not that common but it can happen. A heart attack, also called d a myocardial infarction, occurs when the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle is blocked.
Most heart attacks are caused by coronary heart disease (CHD), a condition in which your coronary arteries (the arteries that supply your heart muscle with oxygen-rich blood) become narrowed by a gradual build-up of fatty material within their walls.
Understanding the risk factors and taking steps toward a heart-healthy lifestyle early can help prevent a heart attack.
There are certain factors that increase your risk of coronary heart disease in general and heart attack in particular. While some risk factors are not under your control, there are many things you can improve or eliminate to reduce your chances of getting a heart attack.
For instance, some risk factors such as age, sex, heredity, can't be changed. But, you can certainly lessen your risk of heart attack by paying attention to the following factors-
- Tobacco – smoking and long-term exposure to second smoke put you at high risk of heart attack.
- Obesity - Being overweight has been associated with an increased risk of heart attack.
- Lack of physical activity - Regular exercise improves your cardiovascular fitness and decreases your risk of heart attack.
- High cholesterol and triglycerides - High LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglycerides, and low HDL cholesterol levels have been linked to an increased risk of heart attack.
- High blood pressure or hypertension - High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart attack and stroke.
- Diabetes – Diabetes, which can cause blood sugar to rise to dangerous level, increases your risk of a heart attack.
- Stress - Stress in life is unavoidable, but has been linked to heart attacks for many years.
- Autoimmune disease – Rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and other autoimmune conditions can increase your risk of having a heart attack.
- Heavy drinking – Excessive alcohol consumption can raise blood pressure to unhealthy levels, which is one of the most important risk factors for having a heart attack or a stroke.
- Illegal drug use - Using stimulants such as cocaine or amphetamines, can lead to a heart attack.
- Complicated pregnancy - Women who develop a condition called preeclampsia (high blood pressure) or gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) have an increased risk of early heart attack.