Until a heart attack strikes, you may have no prior warning that one is about to occur. However, knowing if you are at risk for having a heart attack can provide you with the knowledge you need to alter your health future. Family history and age may be fixed factors, but you have control over many of the other components that can heighten your chances of suffering a heart attack. Mercy Hospital encourages all residents in the greater Miami-Dade community to become familiar with the following risk factors and ways to lessen their effects.
For many people, sitting at a desk for eight hours or more is a part of their professional lives. If you too must sit for the majority of your workday, your lack of activity may be increasing your heart attack danger. This hazard can intensify if you do not have a regular exercise routine before or after work. The cardiovascular system demands consistent activity for its health. Sedentary behavior can weaken the heart and even strain it if your habits lead to weight gain.
Have you been told that you have hypertension? This condition can be a critical risk factor for heart disease and heart attacks. When your cardiovascular system must contend with a blood pressure level that is higher than normal, the arteries can suffer. For each moment that your blood pressure is elevated, the walls of your arteries must cope with the excessive force of rushing blood. This force can weaken the integrity of the arterial walls, which raises the likelihood of a future heart attack.
No matter how infrequently you do it, if you smoke, you are increasing your risk of heart attack. Smoking is a known cause of cancer, but it can also contribute to heart disease. Each time you smoke a cigarette, cigar, or pipe, your cardiovascular system suffers for it. When the arteries contract, it makes it harder for your heart to effectively pump blood through your body.
What are your risk factors for heart disease? If you would like to learn more about the dangers of heart attacks, call Mercy Hospital in Miami at (305) 854-4400 to speak with a nurse with our Consult-A-Nurse program. You can also visit our website to view additional information on our Heart Center.