5 Habits That Can Lead to a Greater Risk for Heart Disease

More than 1 million Americans were estimated to have heart attacks in 2019, with about a third of sufferers having one for the first time. Millions of Americans will continue to have problems with heart disease, and for many of them, it will be due to common, preventable habits.

Heart disease is a term that actually describes a range of heart related conditions. Some heart problems, such as arrhythmias and heart defects, can be present at birth. Coronary artery disease, however, is more often a result of preventable habits.

Yadwinder Kang, MD, and his staff at 1st Choice Urgent Care have years of experience diagnosing and treating heart disease. In this blog, Dr. Kang, discusses some of the habits that can increase your risk of developing heart disease.

Smoking

Pretty much any tobacco smoke, whether it be from cigarettes, cigars, or pipes, can damage your heart and lung health. Nicotine, in particular, constricts blood vessels, which can force the body to work harder to maintain proper blood flow. 

The carbon monoxide in tobacco can affect the ability of the blood to carry oxygen to cells, which can also cause nausea, vomiting, and dizziness. Smoking ― as well as breathing in secondhand smoke ― can make you more prone to suffering heart attacks.

Drinking too much alcohol

Drinking in moderation ― 1-2 drinks a day for men and 1 drink a day for women ― can have some beneficial effects, as it can raise good cholesterol levels. But drinking more than that on a regular basis can increase your heart rate, cause an arrhythmia, or worse. Too much drinking can damage your heart and shorten your life expectancy.

Eating a poor diet

Foods high in salt, sugar, and cholesterol can lead to heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. Researchers looking at data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that almost half the deaths linked to heart disease were due to bad diets. Eating more nuts, beans, fruits, green vegetables, and lean meats can help correct these issues.

Living a sedentary lifestyle

A lack of regular activity can lead to a number of complications, including hypertension, Type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, and heart disease. Exercising just 30 minutes or more a day can help reduce the risk of developing these and other conditions.

Gaining too much weight

Inactivity and bad diets can also contribute to obesity. And obesity can lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and a poor metabolism. Furthermore, obesity can increase your risk of developing gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, and other conditions.

Eliminating smoking, reducing drinking, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly can go a long way toward decreasing your risk of developing heart disease. If you need help dealing with heart disease or other medical issues, Dr. Kang can help. To learn more, book an appointment over the phone with 1st Choice Urgent Care today.

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