Are you at risk of a heart attack?

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You might be at risk of a heart attack even if you’re not overweight. You may not have a history of heart disease in your family but knowledge, they say, is power; and you probably know that sedentary behavior negatively affects your personal health.

However, there are many less-obvious factors that have contributed to over a million heart attacks and about half-a-million deaths.

PSORIASIS: Is your skin scaly? You might need to do more than using cream and soaps. Research findings show that people with skin problems or those suffering from psoriasis (an autoimmune disorder) will most likely develop heart problems. According to Mona Gohara, who works at Yale School of Medicine as an associate professor of dermatology, chronic inflammation in the skin of people with psoriasis is capable of damaging arteries thereby increasing chances of heart diseases, sudden heart attack, stroke and death.

Gohara advised psoriasis patients to consult their doctors for a comprehensive approach to treatment, adding that dermatologists don’t just recommend or prescribe a cream anymore.

‘What we do now is more of counselling people on how to manage their weight and cholesterol level…They need to visit their primary care doctor “on time” to get proper treatment.’

People with psoriasis have a 1% likelihood of suffering heart attacks in the future, and prompt treatment has been confirmed to reduce risk of cardiovascular diseases, according to a new study.

SMOG: Cumulative exposure to smog has been associated to a list of health problems, including heart disease because it triggers sudden rise in blood sugar levels, cholesterol, and other life-threatening factors which directly influence your health. Findings from Circulatory Research show that everyone is at risk of blood vessel damage and inflammation due to exposure to indoor air pollution.

Interestingly, using the AC while commuting guarantees up to 34% reduction from health hazards caused by pollutants in cars.

To stay safe in your office or home, the researchers advised use of an air purifier, which lowers the level of indoor fine particulate matter by more than 85%. You may also use fish oil supplements to stay healthier in polluted environments. Omega-3 supplements are known to reduce health risks of exposure to toxic air pollution.

PAIN KILLERS: Do you always take pain relievers when having a cold, headache or flu symptoms? According to a report from the Journal of Infectious Diseases, drugs such as Ibruprofen and Naproxen, increase your risk of a heart attack by nearly 4% when taken for respiratory infections. Although there are no further explanations on the statement, Sarah Samaan, a medical director and cardiologist at Plano, Texas, said people who use painkillers have higher risks of bleeding, blood clots and fluid retention in their heart arteries. ‘These medications are a major cause of heart problems such as high blood pressure…People should avoid these drugs—if possible.’

Sarah explained that painkillers often present health emergencies because people with heart disease are not always aware.

‘I advise caution, especially if you’re above 50 and have risk factors such as diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol—or smoke cigarettes.’

Sarah’s instructions include getting a good rest or using aspirin, which she said works differently in comparison to other painkillers. She recommended Acetaminophen as a better option but advised a consultation with your doctor or any qualified pharmacist before using the medication.

BIRTH CONTROL PILLS: Women who take pregnancy-prevention pills, including those who smoke, have higher risks of suffering heart attacks earlier than those who don’t. A combination of birth control pills and smoking increases the threats, a new study confirmed.

COMPLICATED PREGNANCY: Among other health complications suffered by pregnant women or mothers who had given birth to underweight babies, those diagnosed of preclampsia (high blood pressure) and gestational diabetes are prone to early heart attack. This highlights the need for hospital visitations and proper examination to identify and manage controllable risk factors on time.

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