Top 7 Strangest Things That Can Affect Your Heart Health
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Unfortunately, more than 610,000 American citizens die of heart disease every year, making heart illnesses the number one cause of death in the U.S.
Let’s put it differently: every one in four Americans dies from a heart condition. Statistics are even more depressing when you think that most heart illnesses can be prevented simply by living a healthier lifestyle.
I think by now we all know the main medical recommendations for reducing the risks of heart problems: avoid smoking and junk foods, exercise daily, reduce your alcohol intake and shed extra pounds if necessary.
However, there are also other factors that can influence your heart health in the long run – some even I had never imagined would matter. I mean, how can binge watching TV shows or surviving a natural disaster increase the risk of heart disease?
Today, experts explain 7 bizarre things that can actually impact your heart in a negative way. Let’s have a look:
Surviving a natural disaster
A study taken at the Tulane Medical Center showed that hospital admissions rose three-fold in the decade right after Hurricane Katrina compared with the two year period before the 2005 storm.
Another study published in the American College of Cardiology showed a sharp increase in strokes, heart attacks and sudden death in the weeks following the 2011 magnitude 9 earthquake in Japan.
William Frishman, MD, professor of medicine at the New York Medical College, says that the increase in heart illnesses is most likely due to the psychological stress caused by natural disasters. Whether we think about the loss of loved ones, financial problems or the overall aftermath caused by such events, a trauma of this kind can bring a higher risk for serious heart problems.
Getting the flu
A 2018 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that patients diagnosed with influenza are six times more likely to suffer from a heart attack during the week right after infection than in the year before or after.
Alfred Casale, MD, chair of the Geisinger Heart Institute in Danville, explains that almost nothing revs up the immune system like the influenza virus. When you get the flu, every soldier that’s part of your immunity gets called on duty to fight off the threat 24/7; that’s also why you can barely get out of bed during those days.
Unfortunately, though, this process also causes blood vessel and heart inflammation. Now, depending on your medical history and current illnesses (if there are any), your heart health risks may be even higher.