If you thought cholesterol is the only reason elderly people suffer from heart attacks, then you’ve been misinformed. The truth of the matter is, heart-health is usually neglected and common misconceptions tend to take over, instilling in us wrong wrong ideas. Heart disease can affect people of any age and weight. A heart attack is caused when the blood supply to the heart is suddenly blocked due to blood clots and plaque build-up. This can happen to men and women, old or young.
The accepted wisdom is that heart attacks are usually associated with chest pain. That is not necessarily true. You don’t have to be suffering from chest pain or discomfort to be experiencing a heart attack. There are many other symptoms of heart attacks which are more subtle and often neglected.
The following are some of the symptoms that can help with a heart attack diagnose:
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Shortness of breath
- Cold sweat
- Pain or discomfort in one or two arms
The Different Causes Of A Heart Attack
The following are some of the possible factors that could increase the risk of a heart attack.
People often link old age with heart disease. Even though the risk of cardiovascular disease increases when a man is over the age of 45, and a woman is over the age of 55, no matter what your age is, your life habits affect your risk for cardiovascular diseases. Plaque can start building up in the arteries of children and when they grow up this accumulation of plaque will result in clogged arteries.
People with diabetes have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Blood sugar levels can lead to problems with blood vessels which contributes to a higher risk of heart attack.
An unhealthy diet can be a major contributing factor for people who consume large amounts of saturated fats. This does increase the risk of suffering a heart attack. A healthy diet and lifestyle can lower the risk of a heart attack.
- Family History
If someone in your family has experienced a heart attack, this increases your risk of getting a heart attack. While genes do play a big role, this doesn’t mean that it is inevitable, there are steps to be taken to lower your risk, such as, healthy diet, exercise and an active lifestyle, maintaining healthy cholestrol levels and blood pressure.
- High Cholesterol Levels
Cholesterol increases the risk of blood clots developing in the arteries, which restricts the blood flow to the heart. Cutting down on foods that are high in saturated fat and trans fat can help lower your cholesterol levels (LDL).
- Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
The symptoms of high blood pressure are often subtle and hard to detect. This is why it’s often labelled as the “silent killer”. It’s important to regularly check your blood pressure because if left untreated, it can lead to a heart attack.
Being overweight is associated with hypertension and high cholesterol levels, which are two of the main causes of cardiovascular disease.
- Sedentary Lifestyle
People who are more active tend to have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. There’s a big misconception that people with heart conditions should always rest and not strain themselves. However, physical activity is actually good for the heart as it helps improve blood flow.
Smoking increases the risk of heart attack drastically. The minute you quit smoking you decrease your risk of heart attack.
Stress tends to increase the risk of heart attack. Maintaining a stress-free lifestyle or managing your stress well is just as important as good physical health.