They’ve always said that prevention is better than cure. How about knowing the risk factors likely to land you in trouble as far as heart problems are concerned? Most heart conditions can be prevented, but only when individuals are careful about their lifestyle. The problem is that people don’t want to make simple adjustments, and that’s where the trouble begins. To learn how to stay safe, consider the risk factors below, then avoid them at all cost.
1. Tobacco Smoking
Smoking is often blamed for causing heart diseases. Furthermore, secondary smokers (those who inhale smoke when others are smoking) are also at risk of developing heart problems. Now, you might be asking how smoking affects your heart. Well, it does all of the following:
- Decreases flow of oxygen into the heart
- The smoke increases blood pressure and heart rate
- Enhances blood clotting
- Damages cells aligning coronary arteries and other blood vessels
2. Plaque Build-up in the Arteries
Coronary artery is a vessel that supplies blood to the heart. However, in the case of a heart problem, one or more vessels of the coronary arteries may get blocked by plaque. This plaque has a tendency of rupturing or completely blocking blood from accessing the heart and this may lead to heart damage.
3. Spasm in One of the Coronary Arteries
This will happen when an artery suddenly tightens or clumps down so that blood flowing into the heart is restricted. If remedy is not found for this spasm, it can cause the death of one crucial part of the heart. That’s how a ”classic” heart attack occurs.
Now, what exactly is the cause of coronary artery spasm? Drugs and medications are often blamed for this. Amphetamines and cocaine can do this too. In some cases, spams are short-lived so that it doesn’t leave permanent damage. However, in other cases, it ends up damaging a portion of one’s heart.
4. Coronary Artery Dissection
In the event that the walls of a coronary artery split apart, the separation might cause blood to flow in an abnormal way in some parts of the heart, and that will cause problems too. However, this form of heart problem is commonly associated with women linked to hormonal fluctuation. Even though such cases aren’t as common, most cases happen when a woman is undergoing her periods, or immediately after they deliver their babies. It commonly affects women in their 20s and 30s.
Blunt trauma on the pelvis, chest walls or abdomen may cause heart problems as well. When it happens, it may cause blood to clot inside one of the coronary arteries. But sometimes this trauma may cause an artery to split or tear, which may restrict sufficient blood from flowing into the heart. A typical case of blunt trauma might arise due to a car accident, where the victim’s chest meets the steering wheel upon impact.
Heart problems are caused by many different factors. However, common causes of heart diseases are poor diet as well as lack of exercise. These factors may increase your risk of contracting a heart disease. Shortness of breath, pain in the chest, or lightheadedness may be a sign that something is terribly wrong with your heart. You must therefore seek medical attention immediately.