Could you be at risk of having a heart attack? Conditions that at first glance may not appear to be related to your heart could increase the likelihood that you'll experience a heart attack one day. Your cardiologist, Dr. Atif Sohail of Heart & Sleep Clinics of America in Arlington, TX, can help you identify your risk factors and recommend treatments or lifestyle changes that will help you reduce your chances of a heart attack.
What are common heart attack risk factors?
You may be more likely to have a heart attack if you have any of these risk factors:
- Age: Heart attacks happen more often after age 65, although 4 to 10 percent of heart attacks affect people 45 and younger, according to Harvard Health Publishing.
- Genetic Factors: You may be more likely to have a heart attack if a parent or close relative has had a heart attack.
- Sex: Men are more likely to experience heart attacks than women.
- Smoking: Using tobacco products or being exposed to secondhand smoke increases your risk.
- High Blood Pressure: High blood pressure makes your heart work harder and may cause the heart muscle to stiffen or thicken.
- Diabetes: Diabetes increases the likelihood of heart disease and heart attack.
- High Cholesterol and High Triglycerides: Keeping your triglyceride and "bad" cholesterol level low will help you avoid a heart attack. A diet that includes whole grains, lean meats, vegetables, fruits, fish, poultry and low-fat dairy products is healthiest for your heart. Your Arlington heart doctor can prescribe medications that lower your cholesterol and triglycerides if healthy eating alone doesn't improve these levels.
- Inactivity: Exercise helps keep your heart strong and also reduces your risk of underlying conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure.
- Obesity: If you're obese or significantly overweight, you may be at increased risk of a heart attack.
Protect your heart health with a visit to the heart doctor. Call your cardiologist in Arlington, TX, Dr. Atif Sohail of Heart & Sleep Clinics of America, at (817) 419-7220 to schedule your appointment.