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Risk factors for cardiovascular diseases that you can change | Health


ByZarafshan Shiraz, New Delhi

Cardiovascular diseases are the ones that impact the heart and blood vessels and identifying traits and lifestyle habits that can amplify the probability of suffering from a heart attack is essential since they serve as risk factors. Although some of these risk factors are modifiable, others are not within our control.

Risk factors for cardiovascular diseases that you can change (Unsplash)
Risk factors for cardiovascular diseases that you can change (Unsplash)

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Bipeenchandra Bhamre, Consultant Cardiac Surgeon at Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital and Research Centre in Mumbai, shared, “Some traditional risk factors associated with heart attacks include smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, diabetes, and being overweight or obese. Additionally, there are several other factors that can increase the risk of experiencing a heart attack. These include having a family history of early cardiovascular disease. High cholesterol levels, metabolic syndrome, chronic kidney disease, chronic inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis or psoriasis as well as HIV/AIDS infection. A history of preeclampsia during pregnancy or experiencing early menopause are also considered additional risks for heart attacks.”

He added, “Another often overlooked factor is air pollution. Long-term exposure to pollutants such as delicate particulate matter has been linked with numerous adverse health effects, including an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Particulate matter can enter the bloodstream through inhalation and trigger inflammatory responses within blood vessels, leading to plaque formation and arterial stiffness. Addressing sleep patterns has gained attention as research suggests that poor quality or insufficient sleep can contribute to the development of cardiovascular illness through various mechanisms including altered metabolism and increased inflammation.”

Risk factors you can change:

The health expert revealed, “Tobacco consumption poses a significant threat to cardiovascular health as it is closely linked to heart attacks and strokes. The presence of nicotine in cigarettes and e-cigarettes leads to faster heartbeat and high blood pressure levels. Furthermore, smoking raises the probability of blood clots forming while also fostering the development of arterial plaque. Notably, even individuals who do not smoke themselves are at an elevated risk for heart disease due to exposure to secondhand smoke.”

Dr Bipeenchandra Bhamre concluded, “While certain risk factors like age and family history cannot be changed, lifestyle choices play a significant role in determining an individual’s susceptibility to cardiovascular illness. Managing chronic stress levels, prioritizing adequate sleep hygiene and paying attention to air quality are all crucial steps toward maintaining a healthy heart.”

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