Did you know that almost half of all heart attacks happen to people who have never had an issue?
Even for those who have kept their weight down and their cholesterol well under control; you could still be at risk.
Here are the 7 hidden causes:
1: Heed those dirty-air warnings on the news.
Inhaling ozone — the nasty gas that results when tailpipe and smokestack fumes meet sunlight and hot weather — can kill cardio cells, throw off your heartbeat, and boost your odds for a heart attack even if you don’t have heart disease. Read more
2: Do not stop daily aspirin on your own.
If you take low-dose aspirin for any reason, check your supply and run out for a new bottle if it’s low. Stopping suddenly can triple your odds for trouble-causing clots in 10 days (yes, 10; that’s no typo). Read more
3: Ask your doc if there’s anything in your health history that might mean trouble for your kidneys.
Kidneys are vital to your body’s waste-disposal system, but in many adults (1 in 9!) these ingenious little filters aren’t firing on all cylinders. High blood pressure, diabetes, and unlucky genes weaken kidneys. Read more
4: Treat your siblings’ heart health like your own.
Bet you know that having parents with early heart problems ups your vulnerability. But did you know that having a sib with heart disease before 60 doubles your own odds of trouble? Read more
5: Give yourself extra TLC if you’ve got psoriasis, lupus, or rheumatoid arthritis.
The scaly skin of psoriasis, the fatigue of lupus, and the joint pain of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) may seem worlds away from your heart. But these are all inflammatory diseases, and inflammation packs plaque into your arteries. Read more
6: Strengthen your marriage and friendships.
You probably suspect that a colder-than-the-Antarctic marriage can lead to physical as well as legal troubles. Ditto if your so-called pals fall into the “with friends like these, who needs enemies” category; they zoom up heart risk 25%. Read more
7: Use up your vacation time!
Taking regular time off can cut your heart attack odds by almost a third. Yet 43% of Americans didn’t use all their vacation last year. Read more