Many Americans know the common risk factors for heart attacks. These factors include smoking, high blood pressure, obesity, poor diet, stress and not enough exercise, however there are several other factors most don’t know about.
In addition to stress, heavy emotions can lead to a heart attack. When a person is undergoing intense periods of grief, anxiety or anger a heart attack could occur. Strong emotions can immediately increase their heart rate and blood pressure, leading up to a heart attack. In fact, there’s actually a condition known as Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, or Broken Heart Syndrome, where extreme periods of grief can lead to a heart attack. It’s more common among women than men.
A much lesser known cause of heart attacks is cold weather. Low temperatures can constrict the arteries and when combined with exertion (such as shoveling snow) a heart attack could occur. Every year over 11,000 Americans head to the emergency room with heart attack symptoms after shoveling snow.
The Huffington Post strongly warns that over exertion can trigger heart attacks as well. Too often we see the grandfather trying to keep up with their grandkids in the park and the sudden burst of heavy exercise puts them at serious risk for an attack.
Eating too much causes the release of epinephrine, which increases blood pressure and can lead to heart attacks.
Simply having other health conditions can increase risk of a heart attack. These include, but are not limited to: preeclampsia, diabetes, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. Any inflammatory disease can cause inflammation in the blood vessels which could lead to a heart attack. Sleep apnea increases risk by nearly 30 percent. In addition, certain medications can also put people at a higher risk.
If you experience symptoms of a heart attack always consult a medical professional, waiting and hoping the symptoms will pass could be a deadly mistake.