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Heart Attack Risk Factors

According to the American Heart Association, several risk factors increase your odds of having heart problems and an eventual heart attack.

Phoebe Heart and Vascular Center in Albany, Georgia, treats and educates patients in Southwest Georgia about the risk factors that can lead to a long list of heart problems, including heart attack or heart disease.

Understand the Risk Factors for Heart Attacks

The conditions that lead to a heart attack are present for years, and many of them can be controlled or even reversed. However, some heart attack risk factors cannot be controlled.

Heart attack risk factors that cannot be modified include:

  • Age: Men over 45 and women over 55 are at a greater risk of heart attack.
  • Family history: If you have a family history of heart problems or have had a prior heart attack you are at greater risk.

Because these risk factors are due to heredity and time, they are out of your control.

Heart attack risk factors that can be modified include:

  • Excess weight and sedentary lifestyle: If you are overweight and never get any exercise, you are seriously increasing your odds of suffering heart disease and an eventual heart attack.
  • Smoking: A smoker's risk of heart attack is more than twice that of a nonsmoker. Cigarette smoking is the single biggest risk factor for sudden cardiac death.
  • High blood pressure: An overweight smoker with high blood pressure has several times the risk of heart attack.
  • High cholesterol: This is a direct contributor to the clogged arteries that cause heart disease and heart attack.
  • Diabetes: About two-thirds of diabetics die of heart disease. If you are diabetic, it's extremely important to carefully manage your condition.
  • Heavy stress
  • Heavy alcohol consumption

By itself, any of these controllable factors increases your risk of heart disease and eventual heart attack. But the presence of several of them multiplies your risk many times.

For more information about heart attack care, call: 229-312-4438.