More than 600,000 American men and women die of heart disease each year. That’s an astounding number and a statistic that we can change by making ourselves aware of the risk factors for heart attacks. Diet, lifestyle, and heredity are the main themes in heart attack risk, and below are some very serious risk factors to bear in mind.
High LDL Cholesterol
Low-density lipoproteins or LDL for short is the type of cholesterol that your doctor warns you about. LDL collects inside your arteries causing blockages which restrict the flow of blood potentially causing a heart attack. If recent blood work has shown that your cholesterol is high, there are some dietary changes that you can make in order to bring that number down to a healthy range. Some examples are eliminating saturated and trans fats while increasing your intake of Omega 3’s and soluble fiber.

High Blood Pressure
Also known as hypertension, high blood pressure is most often caused by limited blood flow. When arteries become blocked with plaque the heart muscle has to work twice as hard to move blood through the body. Over time this can cause the muscles of the heart to become weak and damaged leading to an eventual heart attack. Another potential cause of high blood pressure is stress or anxiety. Bouts of high anxiety can cause spikes in blood pressure causing damage to the heart tissues. Your blood pressure is a telltale sign of other things going on in your body that may need to be addressed. If you present with high blood pressure, talk with your cardiologist about changes you can make in your diet and lifestyle.

Obesity
Patients whose weight is significantly higher than what is considered healthy fall into the category of obesity. IN some cases obese patients have heart attacks because their weight has led them to other risk factors like high blood pressure and high cholesterol. However, some experts believe that obesity may be a heart attack risk factor of its own. If you are currently overweight there are some easy dietary and lifestyle changes that can help bring your weight down. If you are very obese we recommend that you consult your physician to determine the best plan to help you get to a healthy weight.

Do you fall into any of the above categories? There are easy ways to move the needle on some of these potential heart attack risk factors. Mainly, talk with your cardiologist about changes you can make to your diet and lifestyle that will reduce your risk of heart disease. Your heart is responsible for the important job of moving blood throughout your body, don’t make it tougher than it needs to be. If you are concerned about your heart health due to any of the factors listed above, contact us today.