A heart attack is a common cardiovascular condition that is taking the lives of many people globally. Often, the risk factors are due to poor lifestyles and to some extent, ignorance. Before we look at the heart attack risk factors, it’s important to note that their presence does not mean that you’ll suffer the attack. It just means that the chances of you avoiding the attack are slim. Some of the factors are manageable while others are preventable.
Generally, there are three categories of risk factors:
Non-Modifiable Risk Factors
These risk factors are the most serious since you can’t do anything to prevent or avoid them. You can only manage them. They include:
• Advance age: Post menopause women and men aged 65+ are at a higher risk of suffering a heart attack.
• Family history: If you have a history of heart attack in the family, then there is the possibility that you’ll suffer the condition.
• Gender: Men are more prone to heart attack than women of the same age.
• Ethnicity: Studies show that individuals with Asian and African ancestries are at higher risk of suffering a heart attack than the Europeans.
Modifiable Risk factors
This category comprises the risk factors that can be changed with proper lifestyle adjustments. They include:
• Smoking: Smokers generally have a higher risk than non-smokers.
• Hypertension: A higher blood pressure can easily cause a heart attack.
• Obesity: Excess fat and weight elevate blood pressure, promoting the likelihood of a heart attack.
• Physical inactivity: Lack of exercise is associated with obesity, a heart attack risk factor.
Contributory Risk Factors
This category comprises of factors that do not directly cause a heart attack but are capable of making your body less defensive in preventing the condition. They include:
• Stress: Stress easily increases blood pressure, and is capable of triggering a heart attack.
• Poor diet: A diet rich in bad fat and excess sodium can easily cause a heart attack.
• Excessive alcohol: Intake of excess alcohol increases your blood pressure, promoting the possibility of a heart attack.
The American Heart Association highly recommends knowing potential heart attack risk factors and focusing on heart disease prevention very early in life. To be on the safe side, therefore, it is highly advisable to do heart attack risk assessments so that you can keep the risks factors low. The sooner you manage the risk factors, the higher your chances of leading a heart-healthy life. You can always talk to an expert cardiologist to help you develop a practical remedy.