Health experts describe a heart attack as an occurrence caused by severely reduced or blocked flow of blood to the heart.
The blockage is due to a buildup of fat, cholesterol, and other substances in the heart arteries. The fatty, cholesterol-containing deposits are called plaques. Sometimes, a plaque can rupture and form a clot that blocks blood flow.
What leads to a heart attack as discussed above, is blockage of arteries, but what makes the arteries block, or rather, what are the risk factors that can make one exposed to getting a heart attack?
As one grows old he/she becomes exposed to diseases, and having a heart attack is not an exception. Men aged 45 years and older and women aged 55 and older are more likely to have a heart attack than are younger men and women.
Smoking exposes a person’s health to high risk of getting a heart attack because of the contaminants getting into the body. A passive smoker can also be at risk if it happens for a long time.
High blood pressure.
When blood is pumped at a high rate, it damages some arteries that lead to the heart causing a heart attack.
It is characterized by having a lot of weight. Being obese comes with having bad cholesterol and low levels of good cholesterol that may lead to a heart attack.
Blood sugar rises when the body doesn’t make a hormone called insulin or can’t use it correctly. High blood sugar increases the risk of a heart attack.
Family history of heart attacks.
If you have had a family member with a heart attack, you are at a risk of suffering from a heaespecially in your old age.
Not enough exercise.
Not taking part in physical exercise like jogging, running and swimming may put you at a risk of getting a heart attack especially at old age. Regular exercise improves heart health.
A diet high in sugars, animal fats, processed foods, trans fats and salt increases the risk of heart attacks. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, fiber and healthy oils.
Emotional stress, such as extreme anger, may increase the risk of a heart attack.
A heart attack can be prevented when one adopts a healthy lifestyle, even after getting a heart attack, you can still prevent it from occurring by taking medications as prescribed by the doctor.
BY MARGARET MUGO