A number of things such as your mood, sleep schedule, and even the neighbourhood you live in could be putting your heart in trouble.
You Live In An Area With High Smog Levels
Smog is just as bad for your heart as it is for your lungs. Researchers used hourly air pollution measurements in South Boston to determine how exposure to particulate matter (small combustion particles that come from fuel burning and vehicle emissions) affected patients in this area who had heart attacks.
They found that exposure to high concentrations of air pollution increased the likelihood of a heart attack by 48 percent in the two hours before patients first experienced heart attack symptoms. The risk went up to 69 percent when people were exposed to high levels of air pollution for 24 hours before the onset of symptoms.
Divorce can literally cause heartache. Researchers at the Duke University School of Medicine conducted an 18-year-study of nearly 16,000 men and women between the ages of 45 and 80 who had been married at least once.
Every two years, the researchers assessed the participants’ marital status and overall health. Divorced women were 25 percent more likely to have a heart attack than those who stayed married. Women who had two or more divorces were 77 percent more likely to have a heart attack.
As for the men, the risk of heart attack stayed the same regardless of whether they were married or divorced—at first. But if they divorced at least twice, their heart attack risk increased by 30 percent.
You Get Angry Over The Smallest Things
If your anger tends to become uncontrollable when you’re upset, you could be setting yourself up for a heart attack. Those fiery emotions can drastically increase your risk for a heart attack.
Researchers at the University of Australia questioned 313 patients who had suffered suspected heart attacks about their anger levels before the onset of symptoms.
They found that patients were 8.5 times more likely to have a heart attack in the two hours following an intense outburst of anger, defined as “very angry, body tense, clenching fists or teeth.” The more often you’re angry, the higher your chances for a heart attack.
You Spend A Lot Of Time In Front Of Screens
And this is not limited to your television, as your phone and computer are included too. A study from the University College London reports that people who watch TV or work on a computer for four or more hours a day increase their risk of an event associated with cardiovascular disease, like a heart attack, by 125 percent.
Sitting for long periods depletes the body’s supply of lipoprotein lipase, an enzyme that breaks down fat and prevents clogged arteries. If you spend most of your day behind a desk, it is important you take a brief walk after every 20 minutes or try a standing desk. You can burn 30 percent more calories when you stand than when you sit.
You Sleep Less Than Six Hours Each Night
A lot of adults struggle to get the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep each night, but consistently missing that mark could be deadly.
A study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health found that Japanese men who got less than six hours of sleep were five times more likely to have a heart attack than men who slept seven or eight hours a night.
Another study from Jichi Medical School in Tochigi, Japan, found the same risk applied to Japanese women who got less than six hours of sleep.
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